11 years in the NBA. A devastating injury. 9 teams. 1 championship. A playoff career (& game)-high in Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Shaun Livingston was the Top DOG of last night’s meeting and is extremely important for Golden State the rest of this series. Whenever the Dubs insert Livingston (6’7), he’s on the attack – a shark in the water bloodthirsty for a chance to bully smaller defenders.
Against Cleveland, it’s a bit more magnified because there’s really no one (besides LeBron James) who is an “automatic” matchup to contain Livingston. He has height advantages over Matthew Dellavedova (6’4), J.R. Smith (6’6) & Iman Shumpert (6’5). And a clear speed advantage over Richard Jefferson.
His versatility was on full display last night. In this sequence he iso’d v. Shumpert before lifting a fadeaway J:
Until Cleveland makes the adjustment and forces a larger defender on Livingston full-time (either Jefferson or LeBron), he’ll continue to probe after a screen, get into the midrange area and score via a floater, turnaround or leaning J.
Shaun Livingston smells blood…and he won’t let up til he has another NBA title.