Brooklyn Nets 2013-2014 Player Review: Shaun Livingston

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

There wasn't much fanfare surrounding the acquisition of Shaun Livingston in the 2013 off-season. He was coming off of a decent stretch with the Cavaliers but was mostly known for the knee injury that almost ended his career. When he was brought in, he was expected to play a few minutes and come off the bench as Deron Williams' backup.

The numbers

How'd the season go for Livingston? Let's check the stats:

2013-2014

Shaun Livingston

Games Played

76

Minutes per game

26

True Shooting percentage

55.1

Assist rate

26.6

Turnover rate

11.4

Usage rate

16.3

Rebound rate

7.6

PER

14.5

Win Shares per 48

.108

There's a lot to love here. Livingston had the best season of his NBA career, setting highs in: games played, minutes played, win shares, PER and tied a career high in true shooting percentage. He got a few starts in the first two months of the season when Williams was out due to injury and was permanently inserted into the starting five on January second in Oklahoma City.

The Nets were better on offense when Livingston was in the game, and his success in the painted area was one of the reasons why. He shot close to 50 percent inside of the restricted area not at the rim and his floater was a factor in that. He was also great in the blocks, shooting close to 50 percent on both sides.

He was solid on the defensive end. Brooklyn was three points better per 100 possessions with him on the court and he also averaged one steal per game. Most importantly, his length and quickness helped him cover some of the league's best perimeter players. He usually drew the opponent's best   Here's Jason Kidd with more:

We trust him with the ball, both ends. He has long arms and he understands. He uses his basketball IQ. He's gotten charges, he's come up with big plays on the defensive end.

The highlight reel

Livingston had a lot of awesome games and moments. Head back to the second regular season meeting against the Miami Heat and see him in action.


He needs to

Become a better shooter from 16+ feet. Livingston only attempted 30 field goals from beyond 16 feet, but still shot 23.3 percent. His struggles from that distance and the expected benefits of increased spacing led to Alan Anderson entering the starting lineup in Games Six and Seven of the first round series against the Raptors. Livingston isn't a great jump shooter, but did shoot close to 40 percent from 16+ feet during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons. There have (and will always be) debate over the value of deep mid range shots, but it would still benefit the offense if Livingston improved from that area.

Salary situation

Livingston only made $1.27 million last season. He'll obviously be making a lot more next season.

In the future

Livingston will be entering free agency coming off the best season of his career. The Nets have publicly stated that their number one goal is to resign him, but they will be facing competition from teams like the Timberwolves. After Lopez went down and the Nets revamped their starting lineup, Livingston began to flourish. There are a lot of reasons for Livingston to stay in Brooklyn, but this quote from Shaun in the spring of 2013 is something to keep in mind:

When you’re in the right system, right fit and you got the right structure, it’s easy to see certain players blossom.

I think Livingston is a safe bet to continue playing at this level over the next couple of seasons. He's a steady hand on offense, is a solid defender and cut down on his turnovers. The Nets don't need much scoring out of him, but they do need everything else he brings to the table. Why should the Nets bring him back? Let Reed explain:

He was always talented, but it seemed that he could never reach the level he was at again following his injury, let alone surpass it. Yet, Livingston was the man that replaced Brook Lopez in the starting lineup and was integral to the team's success in the second half of the season. Unfortunately, Livingston will probably be gone next season because he has earned a big, fat, payday. But hey, #ShaunLivingstonSucks might catch the eye of opposing GM's!

Grade: A+

There wasn't much expected of him and all he did was go out and have the best season of his career while helping to save the Nets' season from disaster. Easy A+ here.

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