By Alex Moss on August 1, 2014
After having somewhat of a career revival last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston is expected to add some guard depth for the Warriors next season. Livingston will be asked to provide strong perimeter defense and act as a secondary ball handler when Steph Curry hits the bench. To live up to these expectations, here are five things Livingston needs to improve on this season.
Because he is tasked with playing aggressive perimeter defense, Livingston often amasses relatively high foul totals for a guard. However, cutting down on his fouls per game is an essential step Livingston must take, as it will help shore up the Dubs’ bench’s defensive struggles and force the other team to put the ball in the hoop.
Livingston is a great cutter, getting into the paint and scoring at will. That being said, he draws relatively few fouls for a guard who spends so much time in the paint and would do well to add a few extra points to his box stats every game with a few more free throw attempts.
In Golden State, Livingston will be asked to act as a secondary ball handler, which will require him to take care of the ball much better. Most of Livingston’s turnovers have originated from bad passes in the past, and crisper passing is needed if he is to facilitate the offense when Curry is not on the floor.
Similarly, Livingston needs to be more aggressive with his passing as well. Coach Steve Kerr has demonstrated his plans to make the Warriors’ offense more fluid and increase ball movement, and that starts with the team’s guards. Livingston has never been a pass-first guard, but he needs to make passing a bigger priority to fit Kerr’s vision for the team.
Livingston has made his bread and butter as a cutter in the past, but he has signed with a team that stresses guard proficiency beyond the arc and the ability to space the floor. Livingston has never been a sniper from long range and rarely attempts threes; this will need to change if Kerr wants to achieve the proper spacing in his offensive scheme.
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