It's tough to blame George Karl for last night's Nuggets 103-105 loss in Utah.
Once again, the coach put his 12 million dollar man, Ty Lawson in position to tie the game in the closing few seconds. Karl instructed Andre Miller to toss an inbound pass to Lawson who was wide open. Lawson took that pass, dribbled toward the hoop and chickened out, kicking the ball to the perimeter as the final second ticked off.
Isn't that the kind of situation he's being paid a hell of a lot of money to shine in? Isn't he supposed to be the man? Isn't this Ty's team? Karl has said that it is, but we are yet to see it. Instead, newcomer Andre Iguodala and second-year man Kenneth Faried have been Denver's best players. But neither of those guys are responsible for driving the offense when the Nuggets desperately need a basket.
Lawson has got to step up and earn his stripes - and the massive contract extension he was given.
His problem seems to be a lack of confidence, which might come on the heels of his big pay day. He wasn't so tentative when he was a role player.
Of course, if the Nuggets weren't one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the NBA it might not matter quite so much.