The thing is, I'm not saying he'll be a total bust and be in Europe. It's way too early to say that.
However, what I AM saying is that based on what we've seen on the court, we really should not be encouraged if we plan on being contenders. I dare you to find me a player that played this bad and ended up being worth anything on a quality team. Not even the most extreme of projects produced (key word here) this poorly.
To only watch the second half of what was essentially a blowout and make judgments based on garbage time is absurd, especially if you are going to go online and act like a basketball elite.
Am I any more absurd to judge off of a 12 game sample than you are to judge off a half of garbage time, regardless if the judgment is positive or negative?
And by the way, if a few guys hit their shots tonight (mainly Jason Smith), Rivers has double digit assists. He was setting up people left and right, and they just missed their open looks. It happens.
I was at the game. I can't say much about the game since y'all prolly had better views than I did for the most part. But I felt pretty bad for the team watching them on the bench. Just empty looks from the players and exhausted looks from the coaches. Once again, it was clear we were just too under-talented and young to contend.
Regardless, I mentioned many of his tools (albeit negative) how he is really not that great of an athlete, how he does not play well off the ball, how he badly needs to work on his floater, and that he struggles against real pressure against defenses. Combine that with a streaky jumpshot thanks to his poor form, and there is a lot he needs to work on besides obviously getting stronger.
My main concern is that we're discussing all of these problems on the offensive side and we're not even talking about what we thought was going to be his weakest point and probably has been so far - his defense.
I will concur that he has exceeded my expectations in terms of his PG skills so far. There's not a doubt in my mind he is a PG more than a SG at this level. Maybe if he's given the keys to the offense for longer stretches I'll change my mind about him. He did set up some nice passes for Jason Smith tonight, I will give him that.
Also I'm not quite getting what you mean when you say "the kid has everything he needs upstairs to become an All Star." Is that to say that any well spoken player is any more qualified to become an All Star? To me it's things like this which makes me believe that his personality and upbringing are really deluding perceptions on his game. I think we all want Austin to succeed, but we have to look at what he's given us so far and ignore what he did in High School or the attention he gets because of his last name. If we do this and observe him how we would a Xavier Henry, we would see that so far there really is not that much there. But that is so far.
There is time for him to turn it around, and I hope he does, but I'm just not very optimistic at this point.
As a for Rivers he's a rookie so what you generally expect to see is the tools more so than the production as he matures and begin to figure the league out. All production isn't equal and not all advanced stats represent this accurately.
It's amazing how some have forgotten a 19 year old kid by the name of JR Smith in which we drafted. JR Smith had way more skills, potential and athletic ability than Rivers, although JR factors were limited to mental than Rivers' athletic ability. I hate we gave up on JR under Bryon Scott so quickly but please let's not settle for the lack thereof concerning Rivers. So I wonder, is Rivers inability to shoot at times due to mental or is he listening to media hype to much? At times he's not aggressive, pass on open shots, turn the ball over alot and dribbles with his head down. I'm not the expert here but is this mental or did Demps and Monty believe all the hype about this kid? One thing I don't agree with is benching Austin Rivers for a mistake prone Roger Mason Jr whose worst than a developing kid. Stick with the kid because who benefits more a developing kid (Rivers) or a has been mistake prone (Mason Jr.). I hope we don't make the mistake concerning draft picks as we did with JR. Smith? One thing about investing is allowing the investment to mature in order to get a return. That's how I view our draft picks. We have done a horrible job in the past.
It seems to me that bringing Rivers off the bench puts him in a situation where he needs to be more ball dominant which should help in his development.
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