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NBA: Why does Everyone think that Austin Rivers is only an Average Athlete?

lakeshow22
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NBA: Why does Everyone think that Austin Rivers is only an Average Athlete?

When talking about Austin Rivers weakness everyone always brings up his athletism yet hes a very good athlete probably not Elite but very good. Why is being an above average athlete a negavite?

Yes Rivers didnt throw down the kind of dunks he did in high school but he can still has good hops.

Watch this Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIxxC7aRd2o&feature=related


UNCbasketballbum
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If you watched Rivers play at

If you watched Rivers play at Duke this year, you know that he has an elite handle and very good quickness but lacks explosive leaping and finishing ability at the rim. He desperatley needs to put on muscle which should help him finish through contact at the rim. His athleticism isn't bad, but it definitely won't stand out at the NBA level compared to a D-Wade or a Russell Westbrook. He can still be a good pro if he learns to play off the ball and utilize screens. He's a solid athlete, but will never be overly explosive.

Meditated States
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No one has nasty dunks in College often

That lane is congested. He will have more in the NBA. Eric Gordon did not have nasty bangs often at IU. Wait til he has shooters everywhere and a big who takes the center away from the hoop. He will get his share.

surve
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I agree, he has solid NBA

I agree, he has solid NBA athleticism, thats nothing to sneeze at. In this day and time he just doesnt stand out. He is very capable athletically....but in 2012 you have so many elite level athletes that he drops in percentile. I dont recall what his measurements were at combine but he seems pretty long to me and thats more of the reason why he is able to throw down jams like that, not his leaping ability. As he adds strength, his athleticism will stand out more. I dont think he is as athletic as Byron Scott was in his prime.

Meditated States
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Naw Scott had more hops

Austin is solid but not a freak.

IndianaBasketball
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Austin Rivers confuses me. He

Austin Rivers confuses me. He has a few moves in his dribbling attack that are elite and his first step is super quick, but then after that... It's like blah.

He doesn't cover a lot of ground after his first step... It's like he's taking baby steps. And he doesn't finish well around the rim either. His body control isn't all that good. He plays small.

I've been listening to him do interviews and I really like him. I think he'll be a good leader in the NBA. He's very mature and I think he'll work hard to be a good player.

Siggy
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Good point about his choppy

Good point about his choppy steps. He's got the quickness to get a step on his defender but he doesnt have the physical attributes to maintain that advantage all the way to the cup. It's like he is quicker than he is fast if that makes any sense. Plus he doesnt have the physical strength to keep his man on his hip and not get bumped off stride. He's also a very two-footed jumper. Watch one of his tapes and see if he explodes off of his left foot once.

IndianaBasketball
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He needs to get stronger

He needs to get stronger because despite some pretty nice dribbling moves and his first step quickness, he has to work so hard to beat defenders off of the dribble. He has to work hard just to turn the corner.

And you're right... He's a two foot jumper, which slows him down before he explodes. He gathers slowly, allowing defenders to catch up.

I honestly don't think he's ready to play right away. I don't know why the Hornets traded Jarret Jack.

JoeJo
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I don't understand his short

I don't understand his short steps either. He must have the shortest stride relative to potential stride length I have ever seen. I think it undercuts his quickness and gives time for help defenders to get into position. During summer league, he had to try so hard just to get to the basket and then if he got there, defenders would always seem to be waiting. He made the game look really hard then his backups would come in and mosey their way to the basket with less difficulty.

I also think he has to drive at full speed becaue of his short strides and it has a negative impact on his finishing ability. Damian Lillard was a good contrast as a someone who possesses elite quickness but approached the basket under control and demonstrated great finishing ability.

river09
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Rivers has me at a bit of a

Rivers has me at a bit of a loss too. His game in the lane reminds me of Steph Curry's, he relies on his quick feet and lateral quickness when he finishes at the rim. He keeps the ball really low and waits for the defender to show where an open spot to lay the ball up. But he lacks the outside game and court vision that makes Curry so good....

BrentSuriaga01
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It should be more like this

NBA: Why is Austin Rivers not a good defender

TallmanNYC
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I will give you a reason both

I will give you a reason both for not being a good defender and not being athletic. In a 34 game season in which played 33 minutes per game he blocked one shot. Not one shot per game, ONE shot per season. That's like Jimmer Freddette level of defense. Jimmer had 12 blocks over his four year career. But in his senior year when he really phoned it on defense so he could be absolutely sure not to get into foul trouble (and because he isn't good at defense), he had one block. But I bet you can't find another well known college basketball player who played a solid season with solid starter minutes who only recorded one block. Rivers is very special.

A Lil English
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Come on man

Come on man you should know defense isn't so much about blocks, especially as a guard. By this logic Wade is a better defender than Lebron as he had way more blocks than Lebron during the playoffs and the regular season.

TallmanNYC
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Blocks isn't the only thing.

Blocks isn't the only thing. It isn't everything. For a guard it isn't even a really important thing. But one block in a whole season of starter minutes for a 6' 5" SG is a sign of a problem. You wait and see.

TallmanNYC
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I solved my own question.

I solved my own question. Muggsy Bogues. Only 4 blocks over his four years at Wake Forrest. Cogratulations Rivers. You are the equal of Muggsy Bogues in the shot blocking catagory. Sadly, by Muggsy's senior year he was out rebounding you at 3.8 per game. But maybe it is unfair to compare Muggsy as a senior to your stats as a freshman. Let's call it a wash in the rebounding department as well.

I'm too harsh on Rivers.

akhan786
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Yeah Rivers can jump high but

Yeah Rivers can jump high but it doesn't matter how high you jump it matters how fast you can get up in the air (explosiveness). Westbrook didn't have the best vertical in his draft class but he is probably the MOST explosive player in the League.

Rivers takes too long to gather himself for him to be pounding on anyone especially in college when the lanes are so congested.

For anyone who has experience in this...is it possible to increase your explosiveness? Or is it just something the way your body is configured? I've noticed that Westbrook's legs look more toned while Rivers' legs look kind of stocky. I don't know if there is any correlation between that and their explosiveness but it is just an observation.

JoeWolf1
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You're natural ability is

You're natural ability is your starting point, but not your end point. You can certainly improve your explosive ability, but a guy who starts out with an athletic body type is still going to have a higher end point than a guy who starts out with cankles.

Look at KD, he's way more explosive now than he was in college. Some is probably physical maturation, but I think a lot of it is due to hitting the weights.

Hale
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Yeah, just hit the cleans and

Yeah, just hit the cleans and squats.

JoeWolf1
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He's not as strong as I

He's not as strong as I thought he was. He's a solidly built kid, but he's not very powerful at all. I agree with you guys that say he needs to hit the weight room, it will help his athletic ability too.

Taylor Gang Mike
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Hes a great athlete, people

Hes a great athlete, people just like to hate on him for some reason

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