Austin Rivers Wants to Play Point Guard for New Orleans Pelicans: Should He?
The New Orleans Pelicans had two picks in the lottery of the 2012 NBA Draft. With their first and the number one overall pick they selected Anthony Davis. Davis came out in his rookie season and was everything they could have wanted from a number one pick. He was dominant at times and always showed the massive amounts of potential that he possesses.
For all of the promise that Davis showed, though, their second pick in the lottery, Austin Rivers, was that bad this season. In 61 games that he played, averaging 23.2 minutes per game, he averaged just 6.2 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game. He also turned the ball over 1.2 times per game. The worst part was his terrible inefficiency, shooting 37.2 percent from the field, 32.6 percent from deep, and just 54.6 percent from the foul line.
To summarily describe Rivers’ season, 344 players qualified for ESPN’s advanced statistics rating. Of those 344 players, Rivers ranked last in estimated wins added with -3.2. He also ranked 343rd on that list with a Player Efficiency Rating of just 5.95. Simply put, he was one of, if not the absolute, worst player in the entire league this season.
Now Rivers is saying that he would like to play point guard next season because that’s where he had the most success. However, the problem there is that the Pelicans just enjoyed a breakout season from their starting point guard Greivis Vasquez. They would have to sacrifice Vasquez’s minutes to develop Rivers, which doesn’t exactly seem like a smart decision.
Rivers will also likely need to develop his skills as a shooting guard, also, with the uncertainty surrounding the future of Eric Gordon in New Orleans. After a season like Rivers had in 2012-2013, it’s obvious that the team would want to do anything that would help him improve and become a quality player. However, it would be in the team’s best interest to keep Rivers at the two-guard and find ways to improve his game at that position.
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