The Cleveland Cavaliers struggled for the majority of the 2012-2013 NBA season. They finished the year with a record of just 24-58, the third worst mark in the league. They also were forced to endure a slew of injuries to their rising star, Kyrie Irving, and a season-ending injury early in the year to Anderson Varejao.
With all of the injuries and youth on the Cavs’ roster, they spent much of the season developing young players and seeing which veterans could give the team something that they needed. Surprisingly, one veteran that stepped up and showed tremendous value, particularly towards the end of the season, was point guard Shaun Livingston.
At 27 years old, Livingston just finished his eighth year in the league after coming straight out of high school and into the draft. He has struggled to find a role in the league, though, over the years and is widely regarded as a bust. However, with seemingly no pressure on him now, he seems to be settling into a role as a solid backup point guard.
Over the Cavaliers’ last 24 games, Livingston appeared in 23 of them, some as a reserve and some with increased minutes because of Irving being injured. In those games he was on the floor for 26.8 minutes per game and actually played quite well. He averaged nine points, 3.7 assists, 2.6 boards and 0.9 steals per game on 51.8 percent shooting. The most impressive thing was his shot selection, as he always seemed to make smart decisions and not force the offense.
Going forward, the Cavaliers should seriously consider sticking with Livingston as their backup point guard for Irving. Livingston seems to have a second-wind for his career and has matured greatly since his struggles early in his career. He seems ready to take on the responsibility of backing up Irving for a few years and doing that relatively well.