April 25 2011; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3) is congratulated for making a key free throw shot by forward Danilo Gallinari (8) and point guard Raymond Felton (20) against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter of game four of the 2011 NBA playoffs at Pepsi Center. The Nuggets defeated the Thunder 104-101. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Heels in the Pros: The Great Debate: Tywon Lawson or Raymond Felton?

Raymond Felton and Tywon Lawson were the last two point guards who led North Carolina to national championships. Felton was the point guard for the 2005 championship team, and Lawson was the point guard for the 2009 championship team. Both players won the Bob Cousy Award (top point guard in the NCAA) in their final seasons at Carolina, as well.

Currently, Tywon and Raymond start for two of the best teams in the NBA – the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks. Both players are having  really good seasons thus far. When you compare these two players, their styles of play are very similar with a few slight differences. Since Ty and Ray played at Carolina under Roy Williams, they are accustomed to playing in an up-tempo game.

Both players have excellent ball-handling skills, and excel at being the leaders on their teams. Both players are scoring point guards, who have the ability to take any game over single-handedly. Both players are also underrated in regards to their defensive capabilities. Raymond averages 15.9 points, 6.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game, while Tywon averages 14.4 points, 7.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game. Both players have a 43% field goal percentage, while Tywon shoots 35% behind the arc while Raymond shoots 42% from the three-point line.

Lawson and Felton differ in their arsenal of offensive moves. Raymond is a better outside shooter, in comparison to Tywon. Although this may be true, Tywon is more of a focal point on the Nuggets, who have a young team without a marquee player. Felton plays with more current and former all-stars in Carmelo Anthony, Amare’ Stoudemire, and Jason Kidd. The bench includes offensive juggernauts in J.R. Smith and Steve Novak. Raymond does not have as much pressure on him to score a great deal of points. Felton has the ability and size to post up smaller point guards, and does so from time to time whereas Lawson does not. In addition, Lawson is quicker than Felton.

If you want to discuss who the better player is, then I would say that it is a draw. I love the toughness that Ray and Ty bring to their respective teams. Both players are also fun to watch. Next time the Nuggets and Knicks play, I guess that we can answer this question by looking at the box score to see who has the better statistics.

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