Lawson, 24, is one of the Nuggets' key players, the motor of Denver's fast-paced offense. In his first season as a starter in 2011-12, Lawson averaged 16.4 points per game and 6.6 assists.

Lawson was drafted out of North Carolina after winning a national championship in 2009. For his career, the 5-foot-11 guard has averaged 12 points per game and 4.8 assists.

According to coach George Karl, Lawson can improve by being more aggressive. For instance, in Game 4 and Game 5 in the first-round playoff series against the Lakers, Lawson scored 11 and nine points; in Games 6-7, he scored 32 and 24. Karl has said time and again that for Lawson to reach the highest echelon of Western Conference point guards, he must find ways for his team to win more regularly.

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