• Kory Waldron

The Emergence of Austin Rivers

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*Photo via USA Today

After two and a half years with the New Orleans Pelicans, it seemed as if Austin Rivers may be seeing an end to his young career. However, his father Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers made the decision to trade for him to help bolster the lack of point guard depth. With the Clippers the second part of the season we saw Rivers average 7.1 points per game with 1.7 assists, he did manage to raise his field goal percentage by four percentage points in the move to LA.

Since the playoffs have begun, we’ve seen Rivers become a viable scoring option off the bench. We first saw this outburst in Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs, when Rivers off the bench scored 16 points on seven for eight shooting, in a big road win for the Clippers. Now with Chris Paul being injured in that Game 7 against the Spurs, Rivers has seen a jump up in minutes against the Houston Rockets. Rivers has taken full advantage of these minutes and the opportunity, in this series, Rivers is averaging 14.4 points per game. Much needed scoring for the Clippers which they have seemed to lack at times this postseason. Rivers had a career night in Game 4 where he scored 25 points on 10 of 13 shooting; it seemed everything he shot was going in.

Austin Rivers is still a very young player, with tremendous amounts of raw talent. With the Clippers on track for a deep playoff run, the emergence of Austin Rivers and the quick offense, he can produce off the bench may have been found just in time for LA.

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