Austin Rivers Struggling in Rookie Season with New Orleans Hornets

By Rob Lunder
New Orleans Hornets, Austin Rivers
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Hornets rookie guard Austin Rivers has had a very tough start to the season thus far. The organization has to have some doubt as to whether they made the right decision by selecting the former Duke Blue Devil guard and the son of current Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers tenth overall in last summer’s NBA Draft. The good news is that really no one selected behind him is having a strong season except Tyler Zeller of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jared Sullinger of the Celtics.

Averaging a disappointing eight points per game and two assists, Rivers has not looked anywhere close to the scorer he was during his freshman year with the Blue Devils.  Now it is obviously difficult to automatically make the light turn on in your rookie season, but Rivers has shown an inability to create his own shot and his athleticism still remains a huge question mark at the shooting guard position.

Is Rivers career finished?  Obviously not, he still has his whole career to look forward to and this current season is not even half way finished.  One of the blames could be his supporting cast and the lack of an efficient outside shooter on the current roster.  Eric Gordon has had an unforgettable career with the Hornets, always finding himself on injured reserve.  When healthy he is a dynamic scorer and an excellent outside shooter.  Fellow rookie Anthony Davis has also spent some time out due to injury so Rivers has not had a full cast to work with.  Even so, he still looks a little off, but he can obviously continue to improve as the season wears on and he has all of next summer to make a solid jump before his sophomore campaign.

It is not time to wave the red flag on Rivers but he certainly has to make improvements to justify the spot where the Hornets took him last summer’s draft.

Rob Lunder covers the NBA for Rant Sports.  For all NBA news go to the league homepage on Rant Sports.  Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18

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