HomeSportsHow Livingston envisions the partnership between CP3 and Warriors

How Livingston envisions the partnership between CP3 and Warriors

How Livingston envisions the unfolding of the CP3-Warriors partnership originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The arrival of Chris Paul to the Warriors is an experiment doomed to fail. Chris Paul as a warrior is a sickening thought. Chris Paul is a locker room judge whose presence will poison the Warriors.

Why would the Warriors trade 24-year-old Jordan Poole, who helped them win a championship last year, for a man whose body is failing, who has an abrasive history with Draymond Green and is known as a locker room judge?

Hold your sugar-free lemonade. Shaun Livingston has a statement.

“This brings in another piece that is familiar, that can speak and be respected,” Livingston told NBC Sports Bay Area. “And (Paul) can still pull it off. Maybe it’s at a slower pace… but that’s what happens in the playoffs.

“I think they benefit if they can stay healthy.”

Livingston is uniquely qualified to shed light on the basketball reasons why the Warriors would dare consider acquiring Paul, an old nemesis. He’s been where CP3 is going.

In the summer of 2014, when the Warriors were looking for an experienced point guard to contribute behind Stephen Curry, they selected Livingston. Signing him involved a certain amount of risk, due to his injury history.

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Those same concerns are being raised by observers questioning Golden State’s decision to bring in Paul. Livingston’s health and minutes were carefully managed. He played an average of 73.4 games per season and 17.5 minutes per game.

Paul’s numbers don’t appear to be noticeably different.

While Curry is a peripatetic point guard, using constant movement to break up defenses, Livingston was very deliberate whether scanning the floor for teammates or navigating his own shot.

“We were actually polar opposites,” Livingston said.

contradictions? The same can be said of Curry and Paul. Indeed, many of those concerned about CP3’s compatibility with the Warriors point to its purposeful yet unwieldy approach as one of the reasons.

But history illustrates that Curry-Livingston’s tag team at point guard was very effective. During Livingston’s five-year tenure with Golden State, the franchise peaked, appearing in five straight NBA Finals, winning three.

While Curry generally alternated between pick-and-roll and off-ball moves, often leading to open 3-pointers, the 6-foot-7 Livingston often looked for mismatches he could exploit by maneuvering in comfortable mid range jump shots. Curry shot 3,632 3s in those five seasons. Livingston launched 24.

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Exactly as coach Steve Kerr would have written – and not much different from what is projected by Curry-Paul’s tag team. Both Kerr and Curry have cited Paul’s ability to add dimension as a factor that makes him attractive.

Contrasting styles give an offense greater scope and scope.

“If you look back at our teams that won on the road – and I’m talking about winning on the road, what you have to do in the playoffs – you have to be able to make stops. Period.” said Livingston. “But you also need a bit of diversity in your attack. Our teams had that. Of course we had it with (Kevin Durant). But even with the teams before he came, we had other ways of scoring .

“Chris brings that. He brings a different playmaker and someone who is trusted in the moments that matter most.”

Paul is a one-year experiment that will be judged by where the Warriors finish. It’s a failure if they go home in mid-May, a success if they play into June. He was hired to contribute during the regular season and star in the postseason.

“In the fourth quarter, he’s still a clutch artist,” Livingston said. “No one is running fast breaks in the last two minutes; you rarely see that. Just take him there.

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Livingston can draw parallels between his experience with Golden State and that in anticipation of Paul. He can also identify the potential benefits and that is why he believes that CP3 can and will be good for the team.

However, that doesn’t mean Livingston is blind to potential danger. That would be in the locker room, which mainly belongs to Curry and Green, who work with opposing approaches. Paul and Green are more alike than not.

“The key is that Draymond and CP can coexist,” Livingston said. “Both are dominant personalities. Both are leaders in their own way. Both are very proud players with big egos. They have exceeded their potential and expectations. Can they coexist in one dressing room?”

That’s where the calm Livingston and the uptight Paul differ. Kerr and Curry will have to keep their antennae high. Green and Paul’s professionalism will be needed full time.

The basketball part? The Warriors flourished not too long ago with a similar backcourt construction. That should be the least of their worries.

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