OAKLAND -– The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in their first-round playoff series with New Orleans and there was Shaun Livingston, sitting before his cubicle, relieved but unimpressed.
The reserve point guard was relieved with the Warriors' 106-99 victory over the Pelicans on Saturday at Oracle Arena.
He was unimpressed with his personal performance.
"I know I can play better," Livingston told CSN Bay Area.
In 13 minutes, the 11th-year veteran scored two points. Moreover, he committed two fouls and a turnover while failing to record an assist.
Livingston's ineffectiveness was notable for two reasons. One, the Warriors' second unit was on this day inferior to that of the Pelicans. And, two, Livingston is the primary ballhandler and playmaker for the second unit.
Livingston's inability to make a positive impact ultimately meant more floor time for Stephen Curry, who played 40 minutes for the first time in more than two months. It meant more ballhandling for Andre Iguodala and even Klay Thompson.
"Our second unit could definitely be better coming out in the second and fourth quarters, putting some plays together," Livingston said. "But it's tough, too, because we’ve got to keep everybody structured. When Steph goes out, guys kind of light up a little bit, like, 'OK, it's my turn.' We've got to stay the course a little better."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr defended Livingston but did not spare the second unit.
"It wasn't an individual thing," Kerr said of the bench, which managed only three field goals and was outscored 25-12. "Any time you have a group on the floor, they have to collectively execute. Both in the second and fourth quarters, we didn't do a good job of getting good shots for each other.
"So that's why I went back to Steph earlier (than usual). I kept Shaun in the game for much of the second quarter with Steph and Klay because I like that combination, too. But in the fourth, we just kind of stuck with Andre and Klay and Steph."
The Warriors surely will go to the video to dissect their performance. They'll see some things that need fixing, primarily involving the second unit. They'll also see plenty to like, nothing more than achieving the victory.
"I'm happy we got the win," Livingston said, "because it's a lot worse when you don't."