Austin Rivers played so well for the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 4 against the San Antonio Spurs that Chris Paul credited him with the team’s victory. On Tuesday night, not so much.
Rivers scored just two points in 12 minutes off the bench in Game 5, but it was what he didn’t do that was costly for the Clippers. With just seconds remaining and LA trailing by two, Rivers neglected to box out free throw shooter Danny Green.
Green was able to keep the rebound alive despite Chris Paul racing in and grabbing him by the arm. After Green tipped the ball, Kawhi Leonard secured the offensive rebound and the game was essentially over.
If Rivers did his job and boxed out Green, there’s a chance the Clippers could have secured the rebound with four seconds left and a chance to tie. The likelihood of them converting was not great, but Rivers’ lack of effort didn’t help.
H/T David Locke
Chris Paul gave credit to Austin Rivers for the Clippers’ 114-105 road win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of their playoff series Sunday.
“Game ball goes to Austin Rivers,” Paul said in an interview with ABC after the Game 4 win in San Antonio. “This is his first playoffs. What he did out there, it really just motivated our team. It’s a hell of a game by Austin.”
Rivers, who has been the target of criticism for most of his pro career, scored 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting in 17 minutes off the bench. His big game came at a time when the Clippers were being picked apart for having a thin bench. Rivers gets criticized as a result because his dad, who is the team’s coach and GM, traded for him instead of adding another big during the season.
Though Rivers scored 11 points in a Game 3 loss Friday, he wasn’t much of a factor the two previous games.
For one day, all seemed right with the team’s bench, and that was mostly thanks to Rivers’ effort.
Photo: Austin Rivers/Instagram
Apparently Rasheed Wallace decided to come out of retirement to join the New York Knicks for two reasons — to win a championship and to scream at people who miss free throws. The 2012-2013 season is only a few weeks old, but we can already say heckling opponents after missed free throws is Wallace’s thing.
As you can see from the video above that @Jose3030 shared with us on Tuesday night, Wallace yelled “Ball don’t lie!” after Austin Rivers missed a free throw in the first quarter of the Knicks’ win over the New Orleans Hornets. The miss came after Wallace was called for a blatant reach-in foul on Rivers, so we’ll have to assume he didn’t mean “ball don’t lie” in the sense that it wasn’t really a foul and that’s why Rivers missed.
Last week, Wallace came up with his own nickname for Arron Afflalo and yelled it after he missed a free throw. Is this something that we’re going to be seeing all season long? It certainly looks like it.
Although he may not have been their top priority heading into the offseason, the Celtics would have preferred to keep Ray Allen. They certainly didn’t want him to sign with the best team in the Eastern Conference, but such is life in the NBA. Once Allen signed with the Heat, Boston turned it’s attention to former Rockets guard Courtney Lee as a replacement.
Austin Rivers believes the Celtics are better off with Lee. During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” on Wednesday, Rivers explained how he thinks Allen’s departure benefits both teams. He said the Heat will benefit in obvious ways by Allen spreading the floor and had the following to say about his father’s new squad.
“And I think the Celtics got better, because first off it was disappointing to (see Allen) leave because he was a part of that whole buildup to the Celtics again, but now you have a better defender in Courtney Lee, who is a great on-the-ball defender and someone who is going to add to the great defense the Celtics play already,” Rivers explained.
“And then you have Jason Terry, who is instant offense, something the Celtics need when you have older players like KG and Paul Pierce that get hurt. So when you have guys that are going to be inconsistent, not due to how good they are but how old they are, and the fatigue of a long season, you have guys who can come in and give you instant offense.”
Mix in the fact that Allen and Rajon Rondo had a known chemistry issue and Rivers has some pretty good points. Allen was a huge part of the Celtics philosophy, but at the very least they get much younger with the 26-year-old Lee. Austin also believes the Celtics are the only team in the East that can challenge Miami, and that may be true now that Dwight Howard has gone to the Lakers. Whether Allen tips the scale in favor of one team or the other remains to be seen.
Even as a freshman, Austin Rivers was arguably Duke’s best and gutsiest player last season. But now Rivers has left the Blue Devils behind for the NBA’s money-be-greener pastures. He’ll be tag-teaming with Anthony Davis on the Hornets this season.
But that doesn’t seem to matter to Duke guard Seth Curry, who believes the Blue Devils can be even better next year despite Rivers’ departure. Why?
“The biggest thing is trying to be more of a family,” Curry also said to Blue Devil Nation (via The Dagger). “Just get to know each other off the court. This summer we’ve been really hanging out a lot more and getting to know each other. It seems like everyone likes each other more this year, so it should be a fun year.”
It’s important to note that not once did Curry utter Rivers’ name in any of those remarks. But the incredible hubris that Austin “Call Me ‘Sub Zero’ Before I Play a Single College Game” Rivers is known for has been unmistakable. Even he’s acknowledged it. He’s also been accused maybe once or twice of being a ball hog. And none of that is really conducive to Coach K’s brand of ball.
So, Curry might not have mentioned Rivers, but, directed at his former teammate or not, his comments appear to confirm that Duke is better off without Rivers’ wannabe-Kobe mentality.
Photo: Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
- Filed Under:
- College Basketball
Austin Rivers is one of those players people either love or hate. For every scout who believes he is a dynamic talent and can be an impact player immediately at the NBA level there are others who think he is overrated and has a questionable attitude. Many have criticized Rivers for being too cocky, which is a common trait for young players who have dominated their sport to possess. Austin himself agrees with those who say he is cocky, but according to him that is not a bad thing.
“Truthfully, I just think it’s kind of unfair just because that’s not how I am,” Rivers said during an interview with TSN 1050 in Toronto. “I think every great player is cocky and I think every great player has an ego. And that is something I have. I am cocky and I do have an ego. But it’s a healthy confidence and a healthy ego. You can’t have a negative one.
“There’s a difference between being cocky and believing in yourself and believing you can do anything and believing you can do anything to help your team win and giving your teammates confidence … than being an arrogant guy who thinks he knows it all and thinks he’s better than everyone else. There are two different kinds of cocky and I’m the first one.”
In a sense, he’s right. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Larry Bird are three of the cockiest athletes to ever live. They are also three of the best. Almost all Hall of Famers have a certain confidence about them, but the way you present it is the important thing. As Rivers matures, he’ll either learn how to harness his cocky attitude or end up with people viewing him the way they view LeBron James.
Photo credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
- Austin Rivers
Duke freshman guard Austin Rivers drained a buzzer-beating three pointer to knock off North Carolina in Chapel Hill Wednesday night. The young man had a career-high 29 points including six threes — none bigger than that one. He did it all in front of his dad, Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who was going nuts. Rivers went through a stretch in January when he struggled, but he’s back on track. And he definitely needed to nail that shot after talking so much crap about UNC last year.