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Flip Saunders on Shaun Livingston

Among the few positives from the Wizards' 109-95 loss to Orlando on Saturday was the performance of guard Shaun Livingston, who had 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting and eight assists.

It was the second time Livingston has scored that many points for the Wizards, and he played season-high 30 minutes 54 seconds. Livingston was the preferred point guard ahead of starter Randy Foye because of his height advantage over the Magic's Jameer Nelson, who is listed at 6 feet. Livingston is 6-foot-7, and he was able to post up Nelson several times for easy baskets.

Recently signed to his second 10-day contract with Washington, Livingston has been trying to make a comeback to professional basketball since tearing three knee ligaments and dislocating his knee cap with a gruesome injury on Feb. 26, 2007. Livingston has played just 31 NBA games since the injury, including the past nine with the Wizards.

"I think the biggest thing is he's got a very high basketball IQ," Coach Flip Saunders said of Livingston. "He seems to calm everybody down a little bit when he's on the floor, and he's got great size, so when things break down he has the ability to back somebody down and get a shot off over somebody."

Here's more of what Saunders had to say about Livingston:

By Gene Wang  |  March 13, 2010; 11:00 PM ET
 
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Next: Al Thornton on the Wizards' upcoming road trip

Comments

AD was our last pure pg...I guess SL can be a cheap, young, hungry replacement...gil has been and will always be a 2

Posted by: BurgwithaU | March 13, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

when arenas come back they'll need a point guard that can play 15 minutes or so.. maybe he's the guy.

Posted by: stevie2 | March 13, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

mcgee has never taken a 3 point shot.

Posted by: stevie2 | March 13, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

I saw a video of Shaun Livingstons injury. It should be rated R ouch. Gerald wallace was in that game too. Makes you wonder about Gerald Wallace and your knee

Posted by: jefferu | March 13, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Against ATL, Flip said he wanted to give Livingston some time because his height might help defend a player like Crawford; tonight it was because of the size advantage Livingston had over Nelson on offense. The same rationale could have been used to play Livingston against Detroit yesterday versus Bynum.

The test is going to come as teams start making adjustment to Livingston as they eventually did with Boykins after Boykins red-hot start. It will be worth seeing where his production is in another 10-15 games. The early returns though look pretty good.

Posted by: JPRS | March 14, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

That is so true and it is also why it is imperative that Flip give him quality minutes on a consistent basis.

That would be the only way to have an adequate answer to the optimism some of us see in Livingston as a worthy point for this Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | March 14, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I love when McGee drives left across the lane and, then instead of turning the corner to finish with his left, he turns back into the defender and tries a right handed finger roll from 8' feet away. Hilarious!

Man, that guy must think this is the And1 league - all you have to know how to do is catch an ally oop and then invent a trademark salute to the 8,000 fans in attendance. Nice McGee. Maybe this offseason you can work on a shimmy or a primal scream.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | March 14, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Flip ,please stop hurting foye, realease him from your PG harasment school. He will be an excellent reserve SG with a ball handling ablity and score in volume.He might not be a starter in a contending team due to his poor spead in defense but for now move him to SG and try to visualize how he is going to react.If he is lost he should not be here.Right now the only PG for 25-30 minutes is SL, he could be our second or 3rd next year.I put him down to 3rd since i am not sure how his legis going to hold. Just draft a late 1st round PG and see how he and GA work at the point.

Posted by: gtefferra | March 14, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

SL was very effective on O, but his lack of lateral push was evident on D. The few times nelson wanted to drive, he went right around SL, and he was very weak in getting through screen.

Posted by: cballer | March 14, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"The test is going to come as teams start making adjustment to Livingston as they eventually did with Boykins after Boykins red-hot start."

This is always the key, isn't it? When the opponent adjusts. Orlando didn't bother doubling Blatche last night, but if they had, his production would have reflected it.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"SL was very effective on O, but his lack of lateral push was evident on D. The few times nelson wanted to drive, he went right around SL, and he was very weak in getting through screen. Posted by: cballe"

Well, sure, mismatches can work both ways. There aren't many 6'7" guys in the NBA who can stay with Jameer Nelson when he puts his mind to it. Even those with healthy knees.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Shawn, this is Tim Grover. Tim, this is Shawn.

Posted by: original_mark | March 14, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Dude is clearly our best pg option right now. I can see that his left calf is noticeably smaller than his right, though. An offseason with Grover and Livingston would be a VERY good long term option for us. We definitely need to sign him. PPl may not want to hear the G word around these parts but pending the outcome of Gil's court appearance...

Livingston and Gil would work very well together with Gil guarding pg's on defense and playing SG on offense. Miller and Foye should both be let go for obvious ($) reasons.

Anyone still doubting the effectiveness of our previous C on defense? Brandon Bass was dominating us inside with rebounds and dunks in traffic. McGee is the future but until he gains 30 lbs of muscle, ppl are gonna go right through him repeatedly.

Posted by: original_mark | March 14, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

OK. In the last 4 games, NY playes 23, 29, 16 and then 9 minutes.
In the games where he played 23 and 29, he scored 17 and 18 points and we lost by 8 and 6 points.

In the next two games when NY played 16 and 9 minutes, he scored 2 and 4 points and we lost each game by 14.

We may need to start looking at a new coach soon. NY isnt a savior but he's clearly being misused. When he goes somewhere else and makes a difference (like so many others before him) it's gonna be attributed to his maturation.

Bulls&it!
Give NY 20 minutes, 12 shots and quit dicking around with his minutes, Flip!

Posted by: original_mark | March 14, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Shall we keep SL next year? To summarize from various posters above:

SL looks like a keeper, but b/c of his horrendous 2007 knee injury he shouldn't play big minutes but should be the #2 or #3 pg next year. He's a natural-born pg with a high bb IQ and good court vision, and b/c he can penetrate, he creates pressure on opponent's D and open looks for teammates (something Foye doesn't do from beyond the arc). He's 6'7. He can score; however, he's a weak outside shooter. B/c of lack of conditioning or that knee, we haven't seen a fast break out of him. He's been bringing the ball up slowly and measuredly.

Other teams have not adjusted to him yet. It will be very interesting to see how he's doing in 10-15 games.

He'll get some other offers but he'll be affordable next year, especially for a team that hasn't had a true pg since Antonio Daniels.

All right, let's see it. Who wants him next year -- hands? That settles it. He's on the 2010-2011 roster, BARRING THE UNFORESEEN. Ted, prepare to pay the man.

Posted by: 7snider7 | March 14, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I'd agree, sign Livingston for the remainder of the year and get the guy into an off season program with Grover. The guy looks better on the court then I expected, his nice mid range game is coming back pretty quickly.

This is a pretty nice no pressure situation to work him into down the stretch. I'd keep feeding minutes and play him into game shape. Could be a nice find.

Turner and Wall sure look like the 1 & 2 guys in the draft, but watching this team it seems more and more evident the Wiz need a big bulldog down low. Cousians could have the body and the skills, but there sure seems to be a lot of doubt about his head.

But against teams like Detroit and Orlando the need for a big dog in the lane is glaring. This team really needs a space eater down low in the lane that is a bulldog on the boards.

Who that guy is, I'm not sure. But it's going to be a huge decision.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | March 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"OK. In the last 4 games, NY playes 23, 29, 16 and then 9 minutes.
In the games where he played 23 and 29, he scored 17 and 18 points and we lost by 8 and 6 points.
In the next two games when NY played 16 nd 9 minutes, he scored 2 and 4 points and we lost each game by 14.Posted by: original_mar"

You're actually saying that the Wiz lost by more because Nick Young played fewer minutes?

A few holes in that logic, I would think...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

someone pointed out that Cousins already weighs 270ish and supposedly had a poor attitude and bad work ethic. Doesnt sound like the right pick from that description

Posted by: divi3 | March 14, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

McGee is the future but until he gains 30 lbs of muscle, ppl are gonna go right through him repeatedly.

Posted by: original_mark | March 14, 2010 11:18 AM

I bet Mcgee doesnt weigh 240 right now, absolutely laughable for a 7footer. He's listed at 252, if he can attain that weight and stay there it would be a huge difference.
------

Bulls&it!
Give NY 20 minutes, 12 shots and quit dicking around with his minutes, Flip!

Posted by: original_mark | March 14, 2010 11:24 AM

Flip dont like Nick, that's just the way it is.

Posted by: divi3 | March 14, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

You're actually saying that the Wiz lost by more because Nick Young played fewer minutes?

A few holes in that logic, I would think...

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse


are you being serious? his main point was that NY is being misused. BTW the game he played 16 mins he played almost the whole garbage 4th q prior to that he logged like 4 mins over the other 3 qs. AS mark said though, it's not like the wiz haven't jettisoned other young players for whatever reason only to watch them go on to all stars, championships etc.
NY isn't a great player, but he is a scorer, and with us only reaching 90 pts once in the last 5 games or so ( they went over 90 the night NY had 18 coincidentally) we could use more of that and less q ross.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | March 14, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"are you being serious? his main point was that NY is being misused."

He made his point by simply citing the number of minutes played vs the margin of victory. The implication's clear -- play Nick more, get closer and have a better chance of winning. I don't know how you could interpret any other way.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 14, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

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