How bad is Austin Rivers this season with the New Orleans Hornets? Bad enough to get his minutes reduced by half the moment he was no longer necessary for the starting lineup, making a lot of people wonder if his last name was the only reason the Hornets took him 10th in the recent NBA draft.
Rivers is averaging 6 points per game on 23.8 minutes per game. As the season continues, it looks like he’s having less and less confidence with his ability to turn things around. He’s shooting 33.3% from the field, 31% from beyond the arc and an incredibly bad 53.1% from the line.
He’s not the first to shoot this bad (from the field, not the line) through the first 40 games of a season, but definitely someone with the lowest win share out of a bunch of players including Dan Majerle, Sindey Lowe, Chris Childs, Earl Watson and Speedy Claxton, calculated at -1.2 by BR.
When you look at his free throw shooting numbers, he wasn’t this bad in College. Nothing special, pretty bad actually, with 65.8%, but guards rarely shoot this bad. In fact, only 27 other players in the history of the NBA have shot this bad from the line with at least 1.8 attempts per game, most of them not on full seasons. When it comes to players with at least 40 games those seasons, it comes down to only six. The last time it’s happened was in the 1970-1971 season – Freddie Crawford.
No one in New Orleans is complaining about their number one pick, Anthony Davis, having a season more or less as expected from him – limited on offense, good on defense, but picking up and not looking someone who isn’t where he belongs. Rivers? Nightmare, and keeps getting worse. He hasn’t scored in double digits in over a month, shooting 27.1% in January and his minutes are down to 14.8 per game. Instead of possibly finding a way to better contribute in a different role, Rivers looks like one of the worst rookies to step on the NBA court in rookie years.