We’ve seen Shaun Livingston throw down some surprising dunks since he joined the Wizards. I’m not even sure the double-clutch two-hander he threw down against Pau Gasol and the Lakers (posted below) is his best one. No matter how much I now know he is okay, I still cringe every time I see him slip at the end … because of the whole injury thing. I thought Livingston’s dunk against the Jazz was better (also below).
But did you see that shot Livingston hit over Dwight Howard? To put it simply, it was sweet … some Dwyane Wade/Michael Jordan (but taller and skinnier) type stuff. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to become too familiar with Shaun’s game before his devastating knee injury, but I’m glad I’ve got a chance to see his skills as a Wizard since.
Let’s pause for a second to check out that shot over Dwight Howard: [another angle and more after the jump]
I feel I can’t brag about Livingston’s game enough. I almost feel I’m doing it to the point where I’m setting myself up for disappointment … as in, the Wizards will somehow find a way not to keep him this summer. You got it, Wiz fans are good at finding just about anything to be pessimist about.
But yea, high basketball IQ, natural comfort on floor, clear intelligence when conducting himself during interviews, improving jump shot, stronger than appears ability to post up shorter guards, great court vision exponentially increased by his 6’7″ height, composure to not make too many unforced turnovers … The only glaring problem with Shaun’s game is an inability to shoot the long ball. But I think I can live with that. At least he doesn’t fire them like his name was DeShawn Stevenson.
I better stop, I’m starting to sound like I’m related to the guy.
Take this into account: including when Wizards broke their losing streak against the Hornets in New Orleans on March 31st and Friday night’s surprise smacking of the Celtics, Washington has played six games, winning four. In those games Livingston has averaged 16.5 points on 65% from the field and 21-24 from the free-throw line, and 6.2 assists, 2.3 turnovers and 4.2 rebounds.
Maybe he would be a stellar guard off the bench. Maybe he’s starter quality. Maybe his minutes need to be monitored, and maybe he’s still working on that knee thing. Maybe Tim Grover is a magician — because he has worked with both Arenas and Livingston, among numerous others (Dwyane Wade) who he’s been able to cure. In the ‘not as close as the score indicated’ 106-96 Wizards win against Boston, Livingston played in the fourth most minutes, 42, that he’s played in 190 NBA games. Maybe he’s worth full market price.
There are a lot of maybes but just one definitely. The Washington Wizards will definitely commit an epic fail if they let this guy get away.