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Thread: Rivers discussion

  1. #1

    Rivers discussion

    Obviously 2 games does not a career make, but I am seeing a few issues with Rivers that I hope get corrected quickly.

    The biggest weakness that I am seeing is he is picking up his dribble. I was under the impression when he was drafted that although he is not an elite athlete, he did have elite handle. This certainly does not appear to be the case. When he is facing the basket he has the shake n bake, stop n go moves to get by most defenders. But when he is faced with a quick guard that can get in to his jersey, he hasn't learned how to create space with his body yet. He also has a pretty weak left hand it seems. As a coaches son, you would not imagine this would be the case. So far this season it seems that every time he gets doubled or even has a defender rotate towards him, he picks up his dribble. As a PG he has got to learn that the one thing he can never do is give up his dribble before he is ready to pass.

    The 2nd thing I am noticing is that he seems to have already lost confidence in his jump shot. He had a few openings last night against the Jazz and would not pull the trigger. I know he is not considered a great shooter, but he must take open shots. This will open up other parts of his game as defenders are closing out on him. Also, he does not appear to have a mid-range game either. He must develop a pull up mid range jumper or a floater. He may already have these skills but he hasn't shown them yet.

    Wild shots at the basket -- When he is taking it to the hole, he is not actually getting in front of his man. This is causing him to lob up wild shots at the basket with little chance of going in. To be honest, I am perfectly fine with this. It seems like every time he goes to the rim, good things are happening. He needs to keep being aggressive. With experience he will learn how to get the defender on his hip, and not in his chest. He will also develop the strength necessary to finish at the rim. I have also been pleased with his drive and kick game. 6 assists and 2 TO's is something I think we would all take every game. He is going to need to score the ball however.

    Defense - He is pretty lost out there. I am worried that after a few more games teams are going to begin isolating against him, in both the face up game and the post.

    Overall, Rivers is a little further behind then I expected. Even playing at the 2 while GV is running the 1 he has been pretty ineffective. I still think he will turn out to be a good player for us. He is going to be getting thrown in the frying pan over the next 4-6 weeks while EG is shelved, the play time is going to be great experience for him, I just hope it doesn't ruin his confidence.

  2. #2
    Unlike some other ballers who come out of college early, the kid is just not NBA-ready yet. Right now his only safe offensive move in his game is to drive to the basket and dish. If there is no one to pass to, then he has to finish around the rim. He will eventually get stronger and grow into his body. He is not reading the defenses quick enough where he can be proactive. Once he learns to make his move to the basket quicker while keeping his head up, he will be able to finish. Early on in the game he needs to create and take open shots instead of hesitating. I believe a year from now will make a difference in his game.

  3. #3
    We need to remember his age, as of now, he is a child playing with the big boys. With that being said, I am obviously not thrilled with his play, but the potential is there. He has shown the ability to drive into the lane with great regularity with no fear. Yes he has not finished, but his misses are either cleaned up by AD or he is able to make a pass to an open man. Rivers will be fine as he develops his body and gains experience. We need to remember this year is all about letting our team build chemistry and gain experience.

  4. #4
    The Witch Doctor NemesisKING's Avatar
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    Have you ever heard the saying "They don't know what they don't know", in reference to young people, i think translates to young athletes as he doesn't know is limitations.

    He doesn't know his game yet. And by the way he plays i think its going to take a while. True he's not close to an elite athlete, but he didn't get that memo. Trying to become a point guard isn't helping him any either.

    He's 6'4 and change, but he plays like he's 5'11, he plays way to low, instead of keeping his head up and play big. No, he's imposing, but he's needs to use his height to his advantage, guys are going to play him tight because they don't think he can be them, they'll pressure the ball because he's a 19 year old rookie and they think he'll turn the ball over.

    He has a nice handle, but he doesn't have much speed to take advantage of the space his dribble creates for him at least against your average 6'-6-3" PG, the average guy is at least as quick as him, the better guys are faster. He tries to penetrate with his head down, he doesn't see the rim until he's right at it, his head should be up at all times, you have to know where your guys are and if you have a shot or not.

    Right now the one thing that he should be able to do well is shoot the ball, but he's in a slump that's just a carry from the other things that aren't going well, again trying to learn to be a PG isn't helping that either, because he's now trying to avoid the shot to run the offense and get the ball to his guys there is no time to shoot his way out of the slump, and that's what shooter have to do, keep shooting.

    But the time he does have at SG now because of EG being out, does allow for him to get it going, at from the shooting aspect.

    I do think, if he's not he should study the tapes of CP, Nash, Deron Williams, Rubio,Billups and Jason Kidd, he can find similarities with all of them. Learn how they use their talent or managed their lack of and what made them successful as rookies or eventually as a veterans.

    He needs to learn he doesn't have the gifts just to dominate guys the way he wants to, he's going to have to learn to play a much smarter game, use that 6'4 frame, his youth, handles and the little quickness that he does have. Choose his moments correctly and set up his penetration and learn how work for your shot.

    And shoot the ball until you're out of your slump.

  5. #5
    Maybe this is why Monty envisioned him of being a PG instead of a SG from the jump.

  6. #6
    I'm loving the dirt being thrown on this kid's grave by the typical reactionary types. You start your post by stating "2 games does make a career" when the reality is that 2 games really doesn't mean ANYTHING to an undersized rookie guard learning completely new skills and concepts, only one year removed from HIGH SCHOOL.

    Looking at Rivers objectively, you have to think long term. Anyone expecting big things from him this year is really not knowledgeable about professional hoops. Guys like him take time. I suggest you focus on how he grows throughout the year, and stop making ridiculous claims about his jump shot confidence, much less how lost he looks on D. His D has actually been incredibly encouraging to some of us, considering that was a weakness of his. His effort is outstanding, and he has a good grasp of Monty's concepts already. His +8 in 29 minutes last night suggests his defensive presence was fine, especially considering how little he contributed offensively.

    His jumper will come, as will his dribble penetration. This is the NBA, not the ACC, and it is incredibly difficult for an agressive player like him to adjust his game accordingly.

    No offense, but its pretty clear you don't really grasp the learning curve for young rookies learning a new position and role, so for your own sake try to practice patience with him and look for growth, not immediate results. As a matter of fact, I'm personally not looking for anything significant from him until year 3, which would be a normal, rational projection for a player in his situation.

  7. #7
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogden Park View Post
    I'm loving the dirt being thrown on this kid's grave by the typical reactionary types. You start your post by stating "2 games does make a career" when the reality is that 2 games really doesn't mean ANYTHING to an undersized rookie guard learning completely new skills and concepts, only one year removed from HIGH SCHOOL.

    Looking at Rivers objectively, you have to think long term. Anyone expecting big things from him this year is really not knowledgeable about professional hoops. Guys like him take time. I suggest you focus on how he grows throughout the year, and stop making ridiculous claims about his jump shot confidence, much less how lost he looks on D. His D has actually been incredibly encouraging to some of us, considering that was a weakness of his. His effort is outstanding, and he has a good grasp of Monty's concepts already. His +8 in 29 minutes last night suggests his defensive presence was fine, especially considering how little he contributed offensively.

    His jumper will come, as will his dribble penetration. This is the NBA, not the ACC, and it is incredibly difficult for an agressive player like him to adjust his game accordingly.

    No offense, but its pretty clear you don't really grasp the learning curve for young rookies learning a new position and role, so for your own sake try to practice patience with him and look for growth, not immediate results. As a matter of fact, I'm personally not looking for anything significant from him until year 3, which would be a normal, rational projection for a player in his situation.
    Well it always seems you don't realize how much he is actually lacking to succeed on this level. Sure he's young, but other than hard work and his decent handles, what else can he build on?

    Emeka Okafor - Joe Smith - Carmelo Anthony - Manu Ginobili - Jason Williams

    Al Jefferson - James Posey - Aaron McKie - Shaun Livingston

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornets78 View Post
    Well it always seems you don't realize how much he is actually lacking to succeed on this level. Sure he's young, but other than hard work and his decent handles, what else can he build on?
    Well for one I disagree with "decent handles." His ball handling, particularly his lateral movement and ability to cut with the ball in his possession is borderline elite already. And with time and work with professional coaches and trainers, it can be developed further. He will learn about opponents tendencies, and will be able to pick his spots better.

    Having one elite skill in this league is enough to make a significant impact, if you are willing to work on the other elements of your game. Austin seems more than willing, hungry even, to improve as a player. His desire to improve should not be understated.


    Tony Parker plays well below the rim, and look how he has turned out. He had a steep learning curve as well, but his quickness and ball handling have always been his greatest assets. Austin has A TON to build on, Monty and Dell see it (ie. professional NBA talent evaluators), sorry you don't.

  9. #9
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ogden Park View Post
    Well for one I disagree with "decent handles." His ball handling, particularly his lateral movement and ability to cut with the ball in his possession is borderline elite already. And with time and work with professional coaches and trainers, it can be developed further. He will learn about opponents tendencies, and will be able to pick his spots better.

    Having one elite skill in this league is enough to make a significant impact, if you are willing to work on the other elements of your game. Austin seems more than willing, hungry even, to improve as a player. His desire to improve should not be understated.


    Tony Parker plays well below the rim, and look how he has turned out. He had a steep learning curve as well, but his quickness and ball handling have always been his greatest assets. Austin has A TON to build on, Monty and Dell see it (ie. professional NBA talent evaluators), sorry you don't.
    Tony Parker was also drafted a lot lower than Rivers as well. I'm not saying Rivers isn't going to be a good player, but its gonna take him a long time because he has so much to work on. Guys like him shouldn't be a top 10 pick IMO because it will take a while to reap the benefits. I don't think he's close to being an elite ball-handler in the mold of CP3 or Rondo. He has good moves with the ball, but he looks down alot when he dribbles, doesn't the see whole floor, and picks up his dribble. Guys like Paul or Rondo never have to look down because they're comfortable with the ball in their hands. Rivers doesn't seem as comfortable as those guys or as a natural ball-handler. He's a good ball-handler in terms of creating his own shot. Also, he has to get alot stronger, learn how to shoot, and improve his defense. He defends better against PGs, but is getting shredded by SGs especially off the ball. He's not as quick as Parker going to the basket and isn't explosive by any means. Basically, he's a big work in progress and only a big Rivers homer wouldn't see that. Guys who need that long to develop shouldn't be a top 10 pick.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ogden Park View Post
    I'm loving the dirt being thrown on this kid's grave by the typical reactionary types. You start your post by stating "2 games does make a career" when the reality is that 2 games really doesn't mean ANYTHING to an undersized rookie guard learning completely new skills and concepts, only one year removed from HIGH SCHOOL.
    Try reading the OP's first sentence again.

    Everyone knew this would be a rocky transition for him. This is part of it. He's shown flashes, but obviously needs to develop some specific tools to get better. Personally, I don't think we'll know for sure until next season. He needs a season's worth of work.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Ogden Park View Post
    I'm loving the dirt being thrown on this kid's grave by the typical reactionary types. You start your post by stating "2 games does make a career" when the reality is that 2 games really doesn't mean ANYTHING to an undersized rookie guard learning completely new skills and concepts, only one year removed from HIGH SCHOOL.

    Looking at Rivers objectively, you have to think long term. Anyone expecting big things from him this year is really not knowledgeable about professional hoops. Guys like him take time. I suggest you focus on how he grows throughout the year, and stop making ridiculous claims about his jump shot confidence, much less how lost he looks on D. His D has actually been incredibly encouraging to some of us, considering that was a weakness of his. His effort is outstanding, and he has a good grasp of Monty's concepts already. His +8 in 29 minutes last night suggests his defensive presence was fine, especially considering how little he contributed offensively.

    His jumper will come, as will his dribble penetration. This is the NBA, not the ACC, and it is incredibly difficult for an agressive player like him to adjust his game accordingly.

    No offense, but its pretty clear you don't really grasp the learning curve for young rookies learning a new position and role, so for your own sake try to practice patience with him and look for growth, not immediate results. As a matter of fact, I'm personally not looking for anything significant from him until year 3, which would be a normal, rational projection for a player in his situation.
    Well while we're at it, no offense but is is clear that you don't seem to grasp English reading comprehension. My post is far from throwing dirt on Rivers, instead highlighting weaknesses that I did not expect him to have, I.E. no left hand, lack of confidence(from someone who was considered by most to be overconfident), and a poor jumper. As for learning curve, again it is you who seem to fail to understand the transition from college to the pros --- Your jump shot is the one thing that does translate. I am not talking about 3pts specifically, just having a J. We also have all of training camp and preseason to base judgements off of, not just 2 games. When someone does not take a wide open jump shot, how else would you phrase it other than a lack of confidence?

    As for his defense, if you are encouraged than that is your prerogative. He is late on rotations, not aware of backcuts, and generally out of position. Since you are prone to making suggestions, here is one for you... Watch him on Rip Hamilton tonight....................

    I am not expecting big things from Rivers this year, I'm well aware of his age, size, and strength. I EXPECTED those to show themselves this year. I'm not even expecting Elite/Great things from AD this year either. But I do expect "significant" contributions from Rivers next year. You do realize his contract is only for 3 years right? I'm pretty sure that Monty is not going to be happy with "nothing significant" until year 3. He may be 20 years old, but he was a lottery pick right? Yes he will struggle this year. However, I'm pretty sure that the Hornets brass, the fans, and Rivers himself are expecting to see a quality play next year. Do you always set the bar so low in your expectations?

    Seriously, did you even actually read my OP before you opened your mouth? Did you miss these little snippets somehow?

    When he is facing the basket he has the shake n bake, stop n go moves to get by most defenders.

    It seems like every time he goes to the rim, good things are happening. He needs to keep being aggressive. With experience he will learn how to get the defender on his hip, and not in his chest. He will also develop the strength necessary to finish at the rim. I have also been pleased with his drive and kick game. 6 assists and 2 TO's is something I think we would all take every game.

    I still think he will turn out to be a good player for us.

  12. #12
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    I never felt Rivers was ever a good shooter, but more of a streaky shooter.

  13. #13
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    This kid is going to be great! He has elite handle and his shot will come in time. He will get stronger in time. His work ethic is Kobe like so we have nothin to worry about he is just a baby. Everyone needs to stop jumping off the bandwagon because he isn't dominating yet. Remember he has been the # 1 option his whole life and now must learn the team game. Mark my words this kid has greatness in him. Shame on you who are so doom and gloom...seems to be a trend on this board. Lets all rejoice in the fact we have a lot to be thankful for in AD, Gordon, Rivers, Gravy, Chief and Ryno oh and all these guys have been acquired in the last 13 months and new local owner. Smile we've been blessed!!!!!!!!

  14. #14
    I hope he works out ok. I just don't think he has the handles, quickness,or discipline to be a point guard.I think he is a better shooter than he has shown since being with the Hornets.Only problem there, playing the 2 guard, is defending the opposing 2 guard. My opinion, he is having to play way more than the coaching staff was planning on him playing. I think they really thought Gordon would be ready by regular season. If Gordon was ready to go, then Austin would have a lot more time to develop.

  15. #15

    Rivers discussion

    Why do I see Trajon Landgon when his kid plays? All hype and no substance. Is this kid gun shy to shot the ball? Even though I'm a Tarheel Fan, as a Hornets Fan, I want him to be successful.

  16. #16
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hornetslover89 View Post
    Why do I see Trajon Landgon when his kid plays? All hype and no substance. Is this kid gun shy to shot the ball? Even though I'm a Tarheel Fan, as a Hornets Fan, I want him to be successful.
    Trajan was more of a shooter while Rivers creates much better off the dribble. I say let him develop as a PG since he's a good play maker. He got 6 assists last night and he defended their PGs much better compared to when he was on Hayward.

  17. #17
    Rivers just doesn't really look like he's an NBA player, it seems like he's a college ball player playing with grown men... He gets to the basket but doesnt finish, he misses open jumpers... IDK man, I think he needs time in that D-League

  18. #18
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Rivers probably could have used more time in college to develop physically and polish his skills. But he went in the top 10 so it was the right move to go up.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Bongzilla View Post
    As for his defense, if you are encouraged than that is your prerogative. He is late on rotations, not aware of backcuts, and generally out of position. Since you are prone to making suggestions, here is one for you... Watch him on Rip Hamilton tonight....................
    Bwahahaha...

    Gatdamn dude, just quit posting on this stuff. You were wrong up and down your post, but this one really sticks out.

    Rip Hamilton, 2-10, 4 pts, -12 +/-. Rivers' D on him (not to mention his 3 steals and that fantastic block on Nate) was outstanding last night, as I called it. You simply do not know hoops. Reactionary statements after 2 f'n games, only to be proven hilariously wrong immediately, gotta love it.

  20. #20
    Ok I didn't read all of those thesis you guys were writing. But with rivers he lacks confidence, I see him having problems with the plays also.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornets78 View Post
    Tony Parker was also drafted a lot lower than Rivers as well. I'm not saying Rivers isn't going to be a good player, but its gonna take him a long time because he has so much to work on. Guys like him shouldn't be a top 10 pick IMO because it will take a while to reap the benefits. I don't think he's close to being an elite ball-handler in the mold of CP3 or Rondo. He has good moves with the ball, but he looks down alot when he dribbles, doesn't the see whole floor, and picks up his dribble. Guys like Paul or Rondo never have to look down because they're comfortable with the ball in their hands. Rivers doesn't seem as comfortable as those guys or as a natural ball-handler. He's a good ball-handler in terms of creating his own shot. Also, he has to get alot stronger, learn how to shoot, and improve his defense. He defends better against PGs, but is getting shredded by SGs especially off the ball. He's not as quick as Parker going to the basket and isn't explosive by any means. Basically, he's a big work in progress and only a big Rivers homer wouldn't see that. Guys who need that long to develop shouldn't be a top 10 pick.
    Rivers has defended pretty well the first three games. To be fair to Tony Parker... Parker was an international player when he came out while everyone knew who Austin Rivers was. I think Parker is the best comparison for him though and would be surprised if Rivers isn't at least a 15/5 player in a few years.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Ogden Park View Post
    I'm loving the dirt being thrown on this kid's grave by the typical reactionary types. You start your post by stating "2 games does make a career" when the reality is that 2 games really doesn't mean ANYTHING to an undersized rookie guard learning completely new skills and concepts, only one year removed from HIGH SCHOOL.

    Looking at Rivers objectively, you have to think long term. Anyone expecting big things from him this year is really not knowledgeable about professional hoops. Guys like him take time. I suggest you focus on how he grows throughout the year, and stop making ridiculous claims about his jump shot confidence, much less how lost he looks on D. His D has actually been incredibly encouraging to some of us, considering that was a weakness of his. His effort is outstanding, and he has a good grasp of Monty's concepts already. His +8 in 29 minutes last night suggests his defensive presence was fine, especially considering how little he contributed offensively.

    His jumper will come, as will his dribble penetration. This is the NBA, not the ACC, and it is incredibly difficult for an agressive player like him to adjust his game accordingly.

    No offense, but its pretty clear you don't really grasp the learning curve for young rookies learning a new position and role, so for your own sake try to practice patience with him and look for growth, not immediate results. As a matter of fact, I'm personally not looking for anything significant from him until year 3, which would be a normal, rational projection for a player in his situation.

    PERFECT!!!! A++

  23. #23
    just to add to the discussion..

    A few things stand out right now -- Austin Rivers is smart. I haven't heard a lot of praises about his PnR game but through three games - he's made the right decision in most of them. Sadly, his ability to finish at the rim or near it isn't as well as advertised. That will come with time and PD. Moving forward, he needs to continue to make the right decisions and make it a habit. Once he does, he can then practice on finishing shots that need to be finished. It's a process and right now, Rivers is on the right track.

    I'm also really glad that his FT drawing ability has translated (again through 3 games) to the NBA. I'm a bit wary about his constant need to lick the floor (joke). A body can only take so much beating -- even for a body as young as Rivers. So, I hope he finds a way to NOT lick the floor as much but still get a ton of FTs.

    Lastly, his defense is very solid. Not much can be said after that since he really hasn't faced a supremely talented 2 guard (his faced the likes of Danny Green, Gordon Hayward and Hamilton). So his team defense is great (again through 3 games). His isolation defense is yet to be determined.

    Overall, the advertised Rivers (isolation based, gunner and chucker) is nowhere to be seen. Instead what we have is a Rivers that's calculating and intense. Even with his horrible shooting, I'm still encouraged by the work he's done in the past 3 games.

    Again, it's a 3 game sample, but lots of encouraging signs. I'd wait until Christmas for more judgements, but right now, I'm extremely happy with Rivers' development (only 4 months removed from being drafted, and about a year removed from HS).

  24. #24
    All-Star cjjr72984's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikkoewan View Post
    just to add to the discussion..

    A few things stand out right now -- Austin Rivers is smart. I haven't heard a lot of praises about his PnR game but through three games - he's made the right decision in most of them. Sadly, his ability to finish at the rim or near it isn't as well as advertised. That will come with time and PD. Moving forward, he needs to continue to make the right decisions and make it a habit. Once he does, he can then practice on finishing shots that need to be finished. It's a process and right now, Rivers is on the right track.

    I'm also really glad that his FT drawing ability has translated (again through 3 games) to the NBA. I'm a bit wary about his constant need to lick the floor (joke). A body can only take so much beating -- even for a body as young as Rivers. So, I hope he finds a way to NOT lick the floor as much but still get a ton of FTs.

    Lastly, his defense is very solid. Not much can be said after that since he really hasn't faced a supremely talented 2 guard (his faced the likes of Danny Green, Gordon Hayward and Hamilton). So his team defense is great (again through 3 games). His isolation defense is yet to be determined.

    Overall, the advertised Rivers (isolation based, gunner and chucker) is nowhere to be seen. Instead what we have is a Rivers that's calculating and intense. Even with his horrible shooting, I'm still encouraged by the work he's done in the past 3 games.

    Again, it's a 3 game sample, but lots of encouraging signs. I'd wait until Christmas for more judgements, but right now, I'm extremely happy with Rivers' development (only 4 months removed from being drafted, and about a year removed from HS).
    Agree on all points. I think Monty and his dad will stay on him about playing good defense and being smart with the basketball. He's a natural scorer so that will come with time. Sure that's what they're telling him.

  25. #25
    All World Contributor FlyGirl's Avatar
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    I don't think Doc's going to 'stay on him'. Doc said if Austin brings something up or asks a question then he'll answer it but he says it's rare that he'll go to Austin.

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