Rookie Report: Anthony Davis Starts Off Hot, Austin Rivers Cold

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Published: October 31, 2012

In his Hornets debut Anthony Davis started off hot and didn’t close too poorly either, while Austin Rivers was ice cold throughout. The Hornets lost a close one to the Spurs 99-95.

San Antonio Spurs 99 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis, PF 29 MIN | 6-12 FG | 9-9 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 21 PTS | -20The Legend slowed down statistically after a first quarter that saw him score 9 points on just 5 shots and pull down four boards, but his impact continued to be felt. He chased down Kawhi Leonard and blocked what would have likely been a layup in the second quarter, dove to the floor and corralled a loose ball whilst calling timeout early in the third, and more than held his own on both individual and help defense throughout the game. He was active off the ball, looked to set up teammates, and didn’t make dumb mistakes.

On the downside he didn’t pull so much as a rebound in quarters two or three and managed just a single basket. In the fourth he checked back in with just over six minutes to go and went to work immediately, pulling down three boards and scoring eight points, mostly against Tim Duncan, in the closing minutes. He didn’t back down, didn’t give anything up easy, and proved he belonged on the floor when it matters most. That’s not something most 19 year old rookies can say.

Austin Rivers, SG 24 MIN | 1-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | -2Let’s blame this performance on Davis stealing all the first round rookie magic. Rivers was ice cold, missing eight field goal attempts before he finally found one he could manage– a breakaway layup following an Aminu steal. He was able to get to the line a few times, hitting on five of six foul shots, but it wasn’t enough to make up for what was otherwise a poor debut. There’s no doubt he has the tools to one day be a successful NBA player, but at this point it’s a stretch (at best) for him to be starting. I’ve thought he was a few years away from even being a reliable bench player, and tonight did nothing but reaffirm my position.
Darius Miller, SF 14 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +15Miller looked every part the experienced competitor he is, and looked completely comfortable as part of the squad. He had a nice all-around effort, making his impact felt all over the box score. If not for Aminu having a particularly good day I reckon that Miller would have found himself racking up more time on the court. As it was, he showed that he’s a far cry from what is generally expected from a rookie taken at number 46.
Brian Roberts, PG 0 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -3Brian played for 9 seconds at the end of the first half, earning him an official NBA debut. Since he did nothing wrong, he gets an A.

 

21 comments
David
David

Once Rivers' body develops, being stronger, he will be able to finish those attempts at the rim. He's getting there but he's just not strong enough right now to finish. I'm just happy we have somebody on our team who can draw a foul and get to the line. That has been sorely lacking in recent years... side note: One thing that is probably overlooked, but will serve us well going forward, is that we should be one of the best free throw shooting teams in the NBA. When your bigs can all hit at 85% from the line, you have a HUGE advantage late in games. Anderson, Davis, Aminu, Vasquez, Gordon (if he ever shows up), Miller, Mason, Smith - all money from the line. Rivers improved to about 77% in the preseason, I only expect him to get better.

Littlewing
Littlewing

I have been a season ticket holder for a few years, so I am lucky enough to see the guys play up close. I think there is a lot to be excited about with this team, but I think there are a few things worth noting: 1) It is immediately obvious we have no idea who our first option is on offense without Gordon out there. The box score will give you a clue to this (Aminu led the team with 16 FGA - terrible), but when you watch our offense, it's VERY clear we're lost. 2) We need one or two more ballhandlers. Vazquez picks up his dribble very frequently, which is part of why our offense is so inconsistent. Yes, he had 13 assists, but if you watched that game, it was primarily in transition. He's not great running a half court offense. When we move to Rivers at the point, it's a nightmare. That young man may be a combo guard some day, but right now he is a SG. I'm excited about this team, but we have some holes that are definitely going to bite us on the backside a few times this year, as they did last night.

Mr.C
Mr.C

What I cant understand is why Eric Gordon never plays!!! Can we trade him please, I dont understand whats going on with his knee but I bet if he would have went to another team he would be playing just fine!!!

hornyets
hornyets

That was easily the best game I've seen out of Aminu...really liked Davis and Smith too. Gordon could definately lift the Hornets to another level, if only he could get healthy (and interested). On that salary he should at least pretend he cares...

DWreck
DWreck

I think as fans we need to keep our expectations of this team in check. They aren't going to win a title, win the division, and realistically are even a long shot to make the playoffs this year, but that's ok. Very young team (2nd youngest in the league, as was pointed out multiple times in tonight's broadcast) it is going to take time, but you have to be excited by what you saw from the guys tonight. Davis looks like a #1 overall pick, Miller was a steal at #46, Rivers showed glimpses of potential in an otherwise off night. You know they will play hard night in and night out for Monty. We may not have a great season record wise this year, but I for one am truly excited to see these guys play. That was a fun game to watch and can't wait to see what the other 81 will bring.

Suns4life
Suns4life

HORNETS LOST!!! GORDON PROBABLY WANTS OUT.MORE THAN EVER NOW THAT HE HAS SEEN HOW BAD THE TEAM IS. HORNETS WILL TRADE HIM TO SUNS AT DEADLINE!!!

Robert
Robert

I was happy to see Lopez with effort around the rim, he showed he was worth having on the floor for sure. Over all, looks like it will be fun to watch this team this season, with or without Gordon. Also, great to get the games on Charter, the extra TV exposure will surely help expand the fanbase.

Snow
Snow

This game really did show how much potential we have as a team! Aminu blew my mind away! If he plays like that every time along with Vasquez passing like he did we will be amazing. Anderson looked a little rusty but he'll get it together. Can't wait till Gordon comes back and gives us 20+ a night! Proud of our rookies and team tonight!

nolakid21
nolakid21

Aminu was a beast tonight. That is all...

Jo D
Jo D

I'm not on the Mason hate wagon.. I thought he was at worst decent tonight... Rivers however had me face palming myself all night... I had low expectations for him and still i came away disappointed... Missing shots badly... Turnovers... Lame duck passes... Late getting the ball to the open man... Hopefully he was just pressing being his first game.... But if that type of performance becomes the expectation for him, his minutes need to be slashed!

Chuck
Chuck

Rivers was pretty bad but his ball handling really impressed me and he seemed to at least know what to do and give max effort. I'm optimistic that next year he'll be ready to contribute meaningfully, probably as a legit 7th man or something.

Rich
Rich

Mannnnnn! This game was filled w/ so much excitement! Aminu was ON FIRE on both sides of the ball. Loved his intensity now I wanna see some consistency from him. We had a few dead plays on offense, but that's expected from a young team. On defense we made some nice blocks and deflections, but a lot of times we were getting beat to certain spots. I think we can squeak out an 8th seed easily. Go Hornets!

xman20002000
xman20002000

I enjoyed this our first game... I would give Rivers a C, all things being considered... We looked young in the 3rd quarter and inside a minute realizing we were playing an experienced team... We learned alot...

Matt
Matt

Rivers was able to get into the paint almost consistently, beating his man off the dribble. He just couldn't finish. I think he'll get better at that as the season progresses. He was able to get to the FT line and shot pretty well from there. So basically, right now, he's Xavier Henry with a better FT%. Those 9 seconds that Roberts were in, they gave up a 3 to Bonner to end the half. Might not be his fault, but I would give him a B for that. Haha

Forever504
Forever504

Yeah Rivers played poor tonight but I'll gladly take him over Mason any day

MaskedTalent
MaskedTalent

ROGER MASON GETS A BIG FAT F- He is on my BAD side smh....okay but yeah we did awesome, they just have to get some experience and learn how to close it out. Other than that? BRIGHT GLEEEMING FUTURE with or without EG.. I mean come on we did okay right? given he would be the closer that we needed...No forget him, if we had ...a former player of ours tonight, we would've won for sure.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

Since he was matched in the RFA process, he can't be traded to the Suns by us for the duration of his deal. So, NoSuns4Contract. Enjoy.

Ron
Ron

If he plays like that every time along with Vasquez passing like he did Don't worry, they won't. :( Can’t wait till Gordon comes back and gives us 20+ a night! Don't worry, he won't...

Joe Gerrity
Joe Gerrity

I actually don't directly input those stats. They're straight from ESPN.

504ever
504ever

[Joe didn't put Rivers turovers in River's stat line above. Don't know why.] Rivers had 2 Assists and 3 Turnovers and for an assist to turnover ratio (0.67) below 1. This is horrible, and not what I would call good ball handling for a guard. River drove a lot but failed to convert near the rim. A poor assist to turnover ratio and an inability to score near the rim are exactly what River displayed in college. He doesn't look like the answer right now. He looks like the 3rd best rookie on team!

Snow
Snow

I'm just trying to be optimistic lol