Austin Rivers Feels Faster, Stronger
New Orleans Pelicans second-year guard Austin Rivers had already shown a remarkable turnaround since last season during his first four NBA Summer League games played this past week.
In Friday’s finale, he made sure to finish out strong in the Pelicans’ 78-77 loss to the Washington Wizards during a losers bracket tournament game at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
Rivers made his first six shots to start the game before finishing with a game-high 23 points on nine-of-13 shooting from the field. Rivers made all five free throws, dished three assists and grabbed three rebounds in 32 minutes.
Rivers didn’t miss his first shot attempt until three minutes into the third quarter on a contested layup after driving the baseline. In the third quarter, Rivers appeared to injure his right calf and was taken out of the game briefly. Once he returned, Rivers went back on the attack, taking advantage of his enormous offensive skills.
“I thought I was aggressive out there and played well,’’ Rivers said. “This is the best that I’ve ever felt. I could have went 0-of-6, but it still would be the best that I’ve felt. Physically, I’ve never been this quick and strong and I’ve never been able to jump this high. My shot feels great.’’