Austin Rivers Establishing Himself More Each Game
Austin has shown why his off-season contract was worth it. He’s playing a career-high 28.3 minutes a night, upping his production across the board to keep his team afloat as well as possible.
12.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 0.8 steals per game, not to mention a 54.7 True Shooting Percentage, are all career-highs for Rivers.
More than before, we’ve seen that Rivers can score reliably in a variety of ways. He developed as a slasher last season and his ability to take his opponents off the dribble and dart to the rim has improved again with a 48.6 shooting percentage on drives.
Rivers has 10 games with 20-plus points in 57 total games this season. Last year, he only had three such performances in 67.
In a 26 game stretch where Chris Paul missed 21 games, Austin averaged 15.8 points and 4 assists with 44.1 percent shooting and 39.8 percent from three.
Even with all of this recent success, the road was not always easy for Austin. But despite the struggles, Rivers says he honestly is grateful for the way his first two seasons in New Orleans played out.
“It made me—I swear to you—it made me so much stronger,” he admitted. “I worked so hard in the coming summers, and it made me just get to the point that I had to just trust my hard work. I couldn’t come out and try to please people. The coach I was playing for, I was trying to please him instead of just f—— hooping and playing.
“I don’t take any of it back,” he added. “I don’t.”
Rivers has continued to fight resiliently and prove people wrong. He has elevated his game in so many ways, and is as reliable as anyone on such an injury prone team.