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OAKLAND – The calm expression showed on Shaun Livingston’s face as he sat on the bench following a recent morning shootaround. Throughout his 13-year NBA career, rarely anything has rattled Livingston.

Therefore, Livingston seemed unfazed with the circumstances regarding the Warriors’ first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors have a diminished backcourt without a star guard (Stephen Curry) and rising young player (Patrick McCaw) for at least the first round because of injuries. That leaves the Warriors with a starting point guard who spent part of the season in the G-League (Quinn Cook) and a steely reserve known for his solid play (Livingston).

“It’s about producing. That’s why I’ve been able to still be here and stay around,” Livingston told The Bay Area News Group. “At the end of the day, it’s about winning. I want to be productive out there, of course. But I care about the score more than what I care about the stats.”

Livingston’s value does not hinge on those stats. He has averaged 5.5 points on 50.1 percent shooting in 15.9 minutes per game this season. The Warriors do not care about Livingston’s low scoring numbers, though. They rely obviously more on Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant to handle that.

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr also does not limit Livingston’s minutes because of his play. Livingston has missed a combined five games this season because of minor ailments (sore right knee) and two others for rest purposes so he remains fresh for when it counts.

That moment has arrived. It also explains why the Warriors re-signed Livingston last summer to a three-year, $24 million deal.

“He’s one of our staples,” Kerr said, “and one of the guys who gives us the backbone and stability that we need.”

So much that Thompson offered this prediction: “I know Shaun will come up huge for us this postseason.”

How so? Possibly in every way.

First, Livingston has made the Warriors’ starting point guard feel comfortable.

Well before Cook morphed from a player on a two-way contract to the team’s definitive starting point guard during Curry’s absence, Cook credited Livingston for preparing him for this moment.

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When he played last season with New Orleans on two 10-day contracts, Cook spent time before a Pelicans-Warriors matchup during chapel service expressing his admiration for Livingston’s journey. Livingston jumped from high school to the Los Angeles Clippers as the fourth pick of the 2004 NBA draft. His career almost ended because of a severe left knee injury in 2007, but Livingston has since remained an NBA stalwart.

Meanwhile, Livingston shared support and advice for how the undrafted Cook can reach his NBA dream. So once the Warriors signed Cook to a two-way contract this season, Livingston made Cook feel welcome by offering advice, talking by their locker and collaborating on strategy. Therefore, the 25-year-old Cook said the 32-year-old Livingston is “a guy I want to be 10 years from now.”

“When you’re going to [play] with guys like that, you feel a little bit more confident for us young guys who haven’t been to the playoffs,” Cook said. “These guys know what it takes to win.”

Second, Livingston has given the Warriors a steady bench presence that otherwise has lacked stability. Amid 27 different starting lineups and a shuffling frontcourt for matchup purposes, Livingston, Andre Iguodala and David West have helped the team’s newcomers with the playbook. Kerr often has mixed those veterans with his starters. And Livingston’s 6-foot-7, 192-pound frame has remained a trump card to match up against opposing team’s backcourts.

“We take advantage of his size most nights against the smaller guys,” West said. “That’s something we’ll be looking to do [in the playoffs].”

Third, Livingston has sparked admiration with his work habits. He mostly remains disciplined with keeping a strict diet that emphasizes eating vegetables and avoiding sugary foods. Livingston’s younger teammates notice how methodical he stays with his workout routine that entails shooting in various spots in the post as well as corner 3-pointers. After practice, Livingston’s teammates also see him either in the weight room or in the trainer’s room. There, Livingston often ices his knees, sits in a cold bath or receives massage therapy.

“Every time I turn around, he’s always in there,” Warriors rookie forward Jordan Bell said, as he motioned his head toward the trainer’s room. “He’s the last person in there and is always taking care of his body. Basketball wise, it’s making every thing really simple. Just see how he plays.”

If it were up to Livingston, he’d rather let that play tell the whole story. He respectfully vouched for his teammates to have a story written about them over him.

“It’s nothing glamorous. But it pays off,” Livingston said. “I want to be able to walk away from this game instead of limping away from this game. Taking care of yourself turns into a lifestyle after you’re done playing. So you don’t just fall off the wagon.”

Livingston has not fallen off the wagon. Instead, he has remained steady as ever.

Well, almost. Livingston lost his cool after he and official Courtney Kirkland exchanged words over a silent whistle in December during a Warriors’ regular-season game in Miami. Livingston and Kirkland locked heads within seconds, which prompted an immediate one-game suspension for Livingston and a one-week suspension for Kirkland.

That marked only the second time in his 11-year NBA career that Livingston received an ejection. Those moments also marked the only times the Warriors have ever seen the 32-year-old Livingston lose his composure.

“I got a temper. But part of my role is to steady the ship,” Livingston said. “That’s just to try to control your emotions. I’ve been even-keeled my whole life. The way I play, I try not to get rattled.”

That happens both on the court and when he speaks with his teammates. As Cook said, “you can be having a bad day or be mad. But when you see that guy, he brightens up a room.” That happened plenty of times, including when Livingston bought Cook 10 tickets for family and friends when the Warriors played against the Wizards in his hometown of Washington D.C. in February.

“He knows how to talk to people. I think when he does that, people take the message a little better,” Bell said. “For people, if you talk to them, they’re listening rather than if you yell at them, they’re thinking about responding and saying something back.”

Livingston will likely have plenty to say during the playoffs with his heightened role. How will that make a difference in the Warriors’ quest to defend their NBA championship. It’s hard to say. After all, the Warriors’ primary factors involve Curry’s health and production from their other All-Stars in Thompson, Durant and Green. But until Curry returns, Livingston will have a bigger responsibility that he believes he can handle with ease.

“Just being aggressive and making sure we’re winning games,” Livingston said. “At the end of the day, it’s about trying to win games. We got 16 [wins needed to win the Finals] and we start it out one at a time. It’s really not complex or exciting at all.”

That does not stop the Warriors from marveling, though, on how Livingston works.

Follow Bay Area News Group’s Warriors beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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