Sometimes, you spend years flirting with the girl and eventually, after a few crusty relationships, she comes available and isn’t the firecracker she was at 22, but it doesn’t matter because you still have those eyes for her all the same.
Ty Lawson’s acrimonious-at-best stop in Houston, which happened this past off season with much fanfare, ended with a buyout and has allowed him to become a member of the Indiana Pacers.
Pacers fans will opine that this is probably seven years too late, or at least some years too late. The point guard starved Pacers at the time passed on Lawson, Jrue Holiday, and native son Jeff Teague for predictably journeyman forward Tyler Hansbrough in the 2009 draft. Trust me, unless Pacer brass doesn’t acknowledge radio, newspaper, or bar stool conversation, they know of the feelings about that decision.
This is a great deal for both sides, because the Pacers have a recent history of being able to babysit players that might need an extra bit of love and care (Lance Stephenson comes to mind, who has been mostly irrelevant everywhere but Indy where he was a budding star).
It’s a team that has veteran leadership and is expected to play in the post season, which should work for Lawson. For the Pacers, on the other hand, it gives them a fast-pushing point guard who likes to get up and go, which is not really George Hill’s forte, as the Pacers have moved to more of a breakneck style this season over the plodding half court game forced by having David West and Roy Hibbert on the roster.
Lawson is not three full years removed from putting up over 17 and 8, and two years from over 15 and 9. Those are points and assists, for the basketball challenged.
Lawson is a pass-first point guard who is adept at forcing fast breaks, in other words, getting a running game going when maybe the numbers aren’t there but still succeeding. The style the Pacers now “try” to employ will work with what he does.
It also allows Hill to moonlight a little better away from the 1 spot. Indiana lacks a really true point guard, employing a concoction of Monta Ellis, Hill, and rookie James Young in the role at times. This is a big coup for a gaping hole on their roster. The only negative here is the loss of Chase Budinger, who actually has been a useful mammal lately, but still is ghastly on defense and thus unreliable late in games.
He gets targeted. Plenty.
So when the Pacers flirted with Lawson a few years ago, the thought was maybe they could undo a wrong from 2009, hoping she still has that flash at 28 that she did at 22. Or in Lawson’s case, 24 or 25.
For Lawson: Morton’s has good steak; Three Floyd’s has good beer; Big Woods Brewery does too, but they have great burgers to compliment it; and this should work out well for everyone.