The Brooklyn Nets have found success due to their bad luck with injuries this season. If it wasn’t for the ankle problems of Deron Williams, Shaun Livingston would still be playing 20 minutes a game and rotting on the bench.
The Nets’ utility player has seen his role increase, as he has become a starter and a very valuable piece to the team’s current success. He has the range to play point guard, shooting guard and small forward if called upon to do so for the team. His penetration ability has helped the Nets, as he draws his defender and big man into the paint and kicks the ball out to an open shooter on the wing. His shot still needs a little help, but he continues to shine in the areas he does best.
His biggest contributions have been on the defensive end of the floor. Livingston can defend the perimeter as well as the low blocks because of his lengthy frame. With him sharing the floor with Williams, the Nets have two capable ball handlers on the court to keep the defense off-balance.
He is by no doubt the x-factor for the Nets during a season where everything seemed to go wrong during a rough patch. Jason Kidd found a diamond in the rough and he has helped turn his career and the Nets’ season around at the same time. While many will focus on the importance of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Williams, it may be the forgotten Livingston who carries the Nets to the top.