Shaun Livingston can make more of an impact this season
Shaun Livingston’s numbers have seen a decline this year and a boost in production could go a long way for the Golden State Warriors.
Shaun Livingston, now in his 12th season in the NBA and third year with the Warriors as a backup point guard to the reigning MVP, Stephen Curry, is slowly starting to decline. Now, this does not mean that Livingston will start to decline in his mentality, although his physical gifts are slowly decreasing.
His numbers from this season to last season have taken somewhat of a significant dip in production. Per basketball-reference.com, Livingston is averaging 5.2 points per game, 2.0 rebounds per game and 1.7 assists per game this season compared to last season when he averaged 6.3 points per game, 2.2 rebounds per game and 3.0 assists per game.
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Although his offensive numbers are down from a year ago, his length on defense is still key to the Warriors’ “switch everything” defensive system. The length he has allows him to bother smaller guards on their shot and helps rise up over his defender to make his patented baseline jumper on offense.
The statistical category that can help Livingston make more of an impact this season is the free-throw department. Not only are Livingston’s free-throw attempts are down from a season ago from 1.0-1.2, which is 86% to 0.5-0.9, which is 56%.
If Livingston can boost his free-throw percentage to at least 70% or better before April, his game and the impact on the Warriors on both sides of the basketball will improve. Livingston giving his free-throw shooting percentage a boost will make him even better on the offensive end because he’s a great slasher and cutter to the rim and he will often get fouled, so if he can knock down his free-throws with some consistency, it will give him more confidence. Not only will it help with his confidence on offense, but it will give his defense an uptick in production by being aggressive on offense, he will want to try to lockdown his defender.
Once Livingston’s free-throw percentage increases, it will give Coach Kerr more high percentage free-throw shooters to go to at the end of close games and that is critical.