Years Pro: 8
Hometown: Peoria, IL
Prior to NBA: Peoria Central HS (IL)
Livingston’s is a tale of redemption, of death and renewal, of excessed potential going to hell and back again. He’s climbing slowly every year, jumping inches higher, hitting more shots, getting to spots just a bit more quickly than the year before. His athleticism has taken another step forward in Nets preseason, as Livingston has gotten into the lane with ease and even put down a few impressive dunks.
But what’s most impressive is that Livingston’s even on the court at all. He’s slowly but surely gotten stronger each year, playing more and more minutes since his full year of recovery from a torn ACL, MCL, lateral meniscus, sprained MCL, dislocated patella, and dislocated tibia-femoral joint. He’s found more and more time each year as he gets further and further from definition by injury and closer to definition by ability.
He’s also a very good dodgeball player.
Livingston is a player’s point guard. He rarely turns the ball over and communicates with teammates about where they want the ball in their hands when they’re in different spots on the floor. He prepares intensely, and his basketball IQ spills out in every interview.
The team’s backup point — and starter, if Deron Williams needs rest — is a floor leader who’s best at letting the ball fly out of his hands towards a teammate, rather than the basket. He peppers shots in and out of the paint almost evenly, but rarely strays beyond the arc. His jumper inside the arc is solid, and he’s stronger at the short midrange game than most guards, but he attempted just four three-pointers in 1,455 minutes last season, missing all four. According to ESPN.com, it was the first time a point guard played over 1,000 minutes without making a three-pointer since 2007-08.
Defensively, Livingston’s length (he’s 6’7″ with a wingspan measured before the 2004 NBA Draft at 6’11”) is an asset against most point guards, but he’s so skinny that he can be overpowered; his listed weight is 175 pounds, the slightest on the team. He doesn’t deal well in isolation but is smart enough to play within the team’s defensive schemes, and the preseason time with the starters has to help accelerate that process.
If he stays healthy, which is an every-day “if,” he should perform admirably as one of the league’s best backups.
|Next: Deron Williams|
| Shaun Livingston | Deron Williams | Tyshawn Taylor | Alan Anderson | Joe Johnson | Jason Terry | Andrei Kirilenko | Paul Pierce | Tornike Shengelia | Reggie Evans | Kevin Garnett | Mirza Teletovic | Andray Blatche | Brook Lopez | Mason Plumlee |