2010-2011 NBA Preview: Shaun Livingston Deserves a Shot To Start For Charlotte

Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2010

This past April, Shaun Livingston averaged 15.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game.  

He also shot 63 percent from the field that month.  

He started 18 of the 26 games he played for the Washington Wizards down the stretch last season. The Wizards gave Livingston his first real opportunity to shine since his horrific knee injury in 2007.

Anyone who has been through a severe sports injury knows how difficult the road back can be. Livingston tore his ACL and PCL, sprained his MCL, and dislocated his patella and tibia-femoral joint all on one play.

Livingston's comeback in Washington was a great story that got little coverage in the mainstream media.  He made it all the way back from that injury to play better than he ever had before.

Now, after signing a two-year deal with the Bobcats, Livingston will try to live up to the potential that the Los Angeles Clippers felt he had, when they selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.

Based on Livingston's play in April of last year, he figures to be firmly in the hunt for the starting point guard position in Charlotte.  

He has a lot of advantages over his chief competitor, D.J. Augustin.  

At 6'7", Livingston would be the tallest starting point guard in the NBA (unless Miami decides to start LeBron James at that position).  He sees the floor better than Augustin. He can provide more leadership, and he's been refined through severe adversity.

If Livingston does win the starting job, the Bobcats' backcourt would create nightmarish matchups for opposing guards. Stephen Jackson is 6'8" and starts at shooting guard, and as I mentioned before Livingston is 6'7".  They would have a few inches on every backcourt they'd face.

Combine that with athletic forwards like Gerald Wallace and Tyrus Thomas, and the Bobcats would appear to have a good shot at making the playoffs for the second straight year.

That would certainly bring a smile to the face Charlotte's new owner, Michael Jordan, who appears to be the kind of owner who likes to be intimately involved with the basketball operations of his franchise.

He has the ability and opportunity to have a positive impact on Livingston's game. If he can instill some of the drive and focus that made him the greatest player of all time into his employees, Charlotte may be a factor.

Shaun Livingston deserves more credit and recognition for his comeback than he has received.

Hopefully, he can improve on where he left off last year. If that happens, the media will finally have to give him some attention.