Lawson Update And How The Offense Changed

Roy before the Duke game: It is not a high ankle sprain

Roy today: It is a high ankle sprain….”But it’s not up as high as some”

I have suspected for a while now that Ty Lawson’s ankle was more severely injured than had been previously indicated.  The one thing I do not get is why Roy did not simply label it a high ankle sprain from day one and say he would be out 2-4 weeks?  This is assuming they knew it bad enough for that kind of time frame but I find it interesting that Roy made a point of saying it was not a high ankle sprain(despite Lawson saying it was) and now he is saying it is a high sprain just not as high as others.  The fact that it is a high sprain sort of removes the mystery as to why it has take a month to get him close to returning which he might do against BC on Saturday.  Lawson did actually play some basketball beginning yesterday but nothing that involves contact with other players.  The goal is to increase these drills and hopefully get him to the point he can play on Saturday.  The next two days will dictate that decision.

Speaking of Lawson, J.P. Giglio expounded upon the “Tyler Hansbrough has been better with QT” premise I used in my post advocating Hansbrough for NPOY.  The stats do not line.  Hansbrough has taken an even larger role in the offense since QT has been running the point and that is owed to the fact the offense is running through him now versus with Lawson who often started the offense by himself with penetration and scoring.  It is not a mystery that when UNC lost 13 ppg with Lawson and he was replaced with a pass first PG in Thomas that if UNC somehow maintained close to the same level of scoring the offense would get redistributed. With QT at point, the decision was made to bring Hansbrough out to the key or wing to start the half court set and he would take the pass from the point and then start the offense by either shooting, driving in or passing off and then moving to the post for scoring position close to the hoop.  So more times than not, Hansbrough touches the ball in the half court which is the way the offense should start.

The interesting part of this is there is no doubt that the way the half court offense works right now is probably more efficient than it was under Lawson.  At the same time I would argue that the fast break is not as efficient under QT as it is under Lawson.  In my mind that basically means Lawson needs to adapt the way he runs the offense to be closer to what QT does, at least in the half court.  That does not mean he should not be trying to use his speed to create shots for him or other people but at the same time he should be mindful of how the offense is functioning right now and attempt to do some of those things.  As I said, if Lawson can bring his unique skills and mesh them in with the things that are happening now it will make the offense even more potent.  If that does not happen, there could be some discontinuity on the offensive end.

Also, UNC is playing better defense right now which may be the bigger deal before it is all said and done.  With the way QT has played, you have to wonder if Roy might put Lawson, QT and Ginyard on the floor at the same time as a “defensive unit” to slowdown teams like Duke which does not seem to deal well with two quick guards at the one and two slots.  At any rate, getting Lawson back sooner rather than later would be nice so the team can work through the adjustment process as quickly as possible.


12 Responses to Lawson Update And How The Offense Changed

  1. […] Lawson Update and How The Offense Changed addthis_url = ‘’; addthis_title = ‘Lawson+Update+and+How+The+Offense+Changed’; addthis_pub = ”; […]

  2. 52BigGameJames says:

    who am I to question a HOF coach, but Roy indeed says some unusual things at times. I’m probably reading into it something that isn’t there, but Roy’s ongoing tidbits, combined with a couple of Ginyard quotes has me wondering if this isn’t a little bit of an attempted psyche-job on Ty. Probably off-track, but sometimes methinks the “Ol’Roy” routine is a well-crafted disguise for a master psychologist.

    I would love to hear one of Roy’s former players/coaches discuss this subject sometime.

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    What I find interesting is they could have defused any and all media asking about it by declaring him out 2-3 weeks after the Clemson game. I sort of understand them trying to see what he could do heading into the Duke and Clemson but after it was evident he was not coming back anytime soon, they should have just set a longer timetable and been done with it.

  4. Not to take anything away from Q, but a lot of the half court improvement has been from everybody else making a more concerted effort to get where they need to be (to take pressure off of Q trying to get it going all by himself, like Ty did).

    It’s because I think the half court improvement has been a team improvement that I am so optimistic about Lawson’s return. So long as everyone else continues to play with urgency in the half court set and not relax just because Ty is back, we’ll be really hard to deal with.

  5. Will says:

    Bottom line is you typically need 3 NBA players to win a title. Wayne, Hansbrough, and Ty are our 3. We need Ty back in order to win the title, and I sure hope that this high ankle spain doesn’t keep him out too much longer.

  6. Jimmy says:

    I too think Roy’s comments on Ty’s ankle are a psych job.

    Put yourself in Ty’s shoes, you’re a sophomore that’s never really been hurt before and you’ve hurt your ankle. Coach tells you and everyone else that you have a high ankle sprain and you’re out for 2 – 4 weeks. You’ve probably heard of the dreaded high ankle sprain before and how long it takes to fully recover from it. So, how does that make you feel? Ugh.

    Or, Coach tells the media that you don’t have a high ankle sprain and the only person that called it a high ankle sprain was you and you’re not a Doctor. So, how does that make you feel? Sure you’re ankle still hurts like hell, but maybe Coach is right, maybe it’s not a high ankle sprain after all. Maybe you’ll be back on the court this weekend!

    It’s a glass half full or half empty thing. Granted there are times when pessimism pays huge motivational dividends. Remember Mick’s line in Rocky III: “Because you can’t win, Rock! This guy will kill you to death inside of three rounds.”

    However, in the case of injuries & illness, I’ve always felt that you’re better off looking at the glass half full.

  7. dukereallysucks says:

    THF: Please do not spam the comment area with advertising like this. Thanks

  8. Will says:

    Of course, it doesn’t really matter if Roy gives up the correct (or any information) about Ty’s injury. But it certainly does matter that Ty comes back in sufficient time for the tournament. We need our 3 future NBA players healthy and playing well to have our best chance of winning.

    From what I understand, high ankle sprains don’t heal without significant rest. NFL players who suffer the injury usually aren’t right the rest of the season.

    After one month of rest, Ty still didn’t practice yesterday. A reporter from N&O probably said, this is sure sounding like a high ankle spain given that he has been off a month, and Roy finally gave us the information. Let’s hope for the best with Ty that he can come back healthy.

  9. william says:

    2005 NBA players = Felton, May, McCants, Williams and …. David Noel, although Jawad seemed like one.

    2007 NBA players could be = Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington and Deon Thompson. I think Hansbrough and Thompson are now the most likely to have success in the NBA. Ellington for all his perfect form, needs to hit more shots from outside, while Lawson needs to improve his shooting and vastly improve his defense, given his height.

  10. Tar Heel alum and fan says:

    It is an interesting discussion on Lawson vs. Q but it’s clear to me at any rate that Lawson will be the starter with Q as a very confident, very effective backup. To me this simply gives Carolina another weapon in its arsenal and has allowed the team to fine-tune their half-court game, never one of their strengths, especially with Lawson moving at warp speed up and down the court. There were times when it seemed the Heels obviously disliked half-court games and did not excel in them. That has now changed and I second the idea of keeping Hansbrough more involved. Playing against a zone UNC also could go small with Lawson, Ellington and Q.

  11. william says:

    This could be the Steve Hale and Kenny Smith situation all over again, from 1984. Kenny Smith was in my Psych 10 class, and well, that’s another story….

  12. […] J.P that Carolina are better in the half court with Quentin.  I don’t get it but apparently several others agree with that assessment. Caulton is looking really good. Carolina March thinks it is […]

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