Shaun Livingston has started nine games in a row, and his Brooklyn Nets have won eight of those contests. The team’s defense has improved, something it probably couldn’t help but do, and Livingston has helped steady the offense as the Nets rang up impressive wins over the Heat, Thunder, Golden State, and two different victories over the Hawks. Tuesday night’s 11-point win over the lowly Orlando Magic was probably to be expected, but the way in which the Nets went about keeping the Magic at arm’s length on both sides was performed with an alacrity that you just aren’t used to seeing from a team that started the year losing 21 of its first 31 games.

Perhaps the most surprising excerpt from the preceding paragraph is the idea that the Shaun Livingston’s Brooklyn Nets are, in a way, “his Brooklyn Nets.”

Kevin Garnett will always have the loudest voice in the locker room, Joe Johnson will remain the team’s highest-paid player and go-to scorer, while point man Deron Williams remains the ostensible face of the franchise, but for various reasons this much-needed turnaround came with Livingston at the helm. Shaun is no panacea, the team went 3-6 with him as a starter at various points through Williams’ injury-riddled season previous to this nine game span, but he is part of the reason the team has emerged as a consistent force offensively, and improved and fluid and finally capable team on the other end.


Williams returned on Monday, coming off the bench as the Nets downed the Magic, and that role continued on Wednesday – Williams and Livingston offered identical stat lines as D-Will stayed on the court for 28 minutes to Livingston’s 24. Deron says he prefers to come off the bench for the time being, so as not to disrupt the team’s rhythm on either end, and that makes sense. Williams can act as a ball dominating guard off the pine while Livingston feeds hungrier hands in the starting lineup, and Deron’s recovering ankles are barely to be trusted after two full seasons of woes to his wheels.