Rookie Report: Anthony Davis Hurt, Austin Rivers Struggles Again from the Floor

Published: November 2, 2012

The Hornets first win of the Anthony Davis era was bittersweet as Davis left the game for good in the second quarter to be tested for a concussion. Austin Rivers yet again struggled from the floor, going 0-4.


Utah Jazz 86 Final

Recap | Box Score

88 New Orleans Hornets
Anthony Davis, PF 14 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +6Obviously the story of the night for Davis is whether or not he suffered a concussion following an Austin Rivers elbow to the face. Prior to that the big man was having a solid game on both ends. If he’s ok, I’ll give him an A. Other it’s an F for Failed to stay healthy, the most crucial component of any player grade all year.
Austin Rivers, SG 29 MIN | 0-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 2 PTS | +8Frankly he seemed overmatched versus NBA starters yet again and was lucky that the Jazz didn’t exploit his matchup with Hayward early on. Defensively he was definitely focused, but struggled to find his way around screens at the pace required in the NBA. Additionally he gambled for a few balls that were just out of his reach, which led to a few open shots for the Jazz. Monty subbed him out with 7:10 to go in the fourth in favor of Roger Mason, and it wound up working as Mason caught a clutch rebound and made both clutch free throws.

Offensively he again struggled to connect, but had a far superior game this time around in terms of distributing. While I don’t think he’s ever going to be what any of us would deem a traditional point guard, he’s showing progress in keeping his head on his swivel and seeing more than just the most obvious of passes.

The question for Rivers will be this– Can he find a way to make his shots this year?

If not, it’s going to be a mentally challenging year for a rookie not used to anything but success.

Darius Miller, SF 11 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 PTS | -14Darius had a nice block midway through the 3rd as well as a couple quality passes that led to assists. Miller looked a bit slow on a few rotations, but I think with time they’ll be fewer and more far between.
Brian Roberts, PG 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -7After catching the ball on the wing and making a move the basket, Roberts found himself wide open on the way to the hoop. Much like Squeaky Johnson did last year when he found himself open for his first NBA shot, he seemed surprised. Also like Squeaky, he connected for his first NBA field goal and points. There was nothing fantastic about Brian’s performance tonight, but it appears that he’s capable of filling in at the point guard position when need be. With Gordon out 4-6 more weeks, that need may arise more often than anyone anticipated.

Five Things We Saw At The Arena

  1. I attended Buzzfest at Champion Square for the first time. The only permanent picture of a basketball player displayed is Michael Jordon. It feels like a Saints party, and I can’t imagine that it will ever see the popularity that parties in front of the Arena enjoyed.
  2. At one point Tom Benson and his wife were standing directly in from of my line of sight to the floor. C’mon, Benson! Who do you think you are?Oh, wait…
  3. Before the game Monty said that he had nothing to add to the news about Gordon’s knee that came out earlier today. He’ll miss 4-6 more weeks, but won’t need surgery.
  4. Eric Gordon was not in the Arena, as he was likely either still in Chicago or on his way home from the doctor he visited there.
  5. After Ryan Anderson makes a three-pointer there isn’t anything that runs around the Arena in triplicate. That makes me sad.


  1. Mark

    November 2, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I feel like Austin rivers will be our offensive Trevor ariza this year. I’m sure we’ll be shaking our heads alot with him

    • Ron

      November 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Rookies are “allowed” to make such mistakes. Not so much with older veterans…

      • Mark

        November 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm

        haha valid point; I just meant it as our offensive scapegoat. He’s getting quality minutes currently, so hopefully that experience translates to development.

      • Ron

        November 3, 2012 at 12:37 am

        I just meant it as our offensive scapegoat.

        But the point of a “scapegoat” is to take the blame for others’ failings/misdeeds, and I just don’t think we’re going to to that to a rookie.

  2. Robert

    November 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Great win…this team is showing progress, even under adversity. That is a really good sign.

  3. Erick Crow

    November 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Love this team, Austin Rivers I think will be a defense/help player not so much a score for now till he gets his rhythm, there is a lot he does on defense that helps the game

  4. Lucas Ottoni

    November 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm


  5. nolakid21

    November 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    When Brian Roberts was the PG the offense was just awful. Rivers can run the offense a little bit better, especially in the pick-and-roll game.

  6. Lucas Ottoni

    November 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    About Austin Rives, is very clear that he is still raw and not ready for the NBA. Monty will have much work ahead.

    And I hope that Davis will recover fast, very fast!

  7. Scott

    November 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    OK you can’t be serious. Instead of blaming our misfortunes on karma, you should be thankful that you avoided the mess that is Eric Gordon. And we just beat a playoff team without our two best players, hardly a “wrap”. Nobody’s expecting playoffs this year anyway, just a fun,competitive season. And to compare AD to Kwame Brown…….. C’mom man!!!

    • Scott

      November 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Lol. The Suns fan deleted his comment and now I look like an idiot. Oh well…. GO HORNETS!!!

      • Michael McNamara

        November 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        I deleted it. Guy is a troll just trying to rile people up.

        If your comment does not add to the conversation, it will be deleted. We encourage intelligent, well-thought out comments that advance the discussion, not comments from a troll who is upset that he has to root for the lowly Suns.

  8. mojart

    November 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    give rivers time…..he is a rookie…if he is a sophomore now maybe i will be worried….hope AD is fiine….

  9. ImSorryMonty

    November 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    You know, I saw a lot of improvement from Rivers out there tonight. He needs to settle down and look for his shot more though. His most notable improvement to me was running the offense when the general wasn’t on the floor. He tends to set up at a spot and wait for the play to develop instead of making it, but on the occasions he did initiate the attack he had some gorgeous drive and kicks. It wasn’t the train wreck that was the first game. The kid will get better.

    Also, what an exciting game! If our roster was fully healthy there is no doubt in my mind that we could be a playoff team this year. We have LITERALLY every single aspect you could want in a team at full strength. Lane penetration, outside shooting, offensive rebounding, post scoring, help defense, 1 on 1 defenders, defensive rebounding. It goes on and on.

    Lastly, our ball movement this year is off the damn chain and we’re finally learning to push the ball in transition with our young legs. I love it.

  10. Will

    November 2, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I love how hard this team plays. Hopefully AD will be ok but there’s no reason to rush him back and I’m sure NBA protocol will prevent that as well. While I think we can be a playoff contender this year, this is still a rebuilding year so we shouldn’t take any chances with guys that actually want to be on the floor…..

  11. J

    November 2, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Austin Rivers nickname is “Bud Bundy” because he can’t score lol

  12. JayDogon

    November 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Great game. I love watching this team regardless of winning or losing, though wins are obviously preferable, because so far they rebound, defend, dunk and hit 3’s well. Prepare for bandwaggoners to come by the halfway mark of this season, if not earlier. As for Eric Gordon, as long as he’s not demanding a trade I think we need to lay off on him. How do you think booing a possibly already mentally weak, they say pain is 90% mental ;), player is gonna help him play to the potential we all want to see from him when he comes back?? We can’t trade him because his value is far too low at this point so you might as well just realize he’s a Hornet and unless he demands a trade we should treat him as such. Think about it, if he really still wanted out wouldn’t now be the perfect time to be defiant? The team who trades for him wouldn’t have to give back very much so he’d still have help. Anyways, I LOVE this team and we beat a pretty good team out there in a battle of strength vs strength WITHOUT our 2 best players! The future is oh so bright! Geaux Hornets

    • xman20002000

      November 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

      So you think fans should develop a little class but EG should work on his PR skills… This guy is a beast on the court and sorta different in interviews and he doesn’t think about the ramifications… But the guy is a basketball player… Monty and Demps would not have wanted to keep him considering we didn’t need to spend the money but the guy elevates a team, a special player…

      But I agree the guy is a Hornet and will be… plus he is looking at $60,000,000 is scheduled to run into his pockets… His part of the deal is to stay healthy…

  13. Adam

    November 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    People can call this overreacting, but after watching these last two games, I wholeheartedly and honestly believe that this time can win a title within a few years. The team will have its ups and downs this year, but I firmly believe we are seeing the very beginnings of a NBA juggernaut.

  14. Ben

    November 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    I think anyone who had any doubts about Ryan Anderson can put them away after this game. The man is a monster. And he was wide open on the Vasquez winner. It’s amazing how the jazz knew he was going to take that shot an still gave him enough room to drain the 3. Lopez looked solid but a couple of dumb decisions and uncoordination. Best wishes to ad23. I bought tickets to the game to watch Davis up close but that game was amazing anyway.

    • xman20002000

      November 3, 2012 at 10:13 am

      They are an exciting team to watch and Coach does a fantastic job drawing up plays especially after as Vasquez noted… And if you look at this team post CP3 and DWest.. Anderson might not be as tough as DWest but he is taller; plays more defense; and he has a much greater range like Peja… not to even mention Peja on D or the lack thereof…

  15. Ti

    November 3, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I think that Hornets are 2 years away from
    Being contender.
    Rivers better learn how to shoot
    Or else opposing defenses are not
    Going to guard him and his confidence
    Will really tank.
    I was pissed when they drafted him.
    I peaked in high school.

    • xman20002000

      November 3, 2012 at 10:19 am

      He doesn’t have the body of a 2 and he will work on his game… The kid is one year out of high school… The question is can he run the team… Look at his passing, work ethic and knowledge of the game, his background… His quickness alone… This kid has studied all the great players since a kid plus his dad was a point guard…. Now Davis is another story altogether… Sorry he can’t take the trip to Chicago but its a business…

  16. Carpo

    November 3, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Darius has got to take his shots, not defer. I know he can hit them, you guys know he can and surely Monty does

    • xman20002000

      November 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

      So its up to him to take a position… But the current SGs only made 7 points combined… That is not good and you can’t switch Vasquez to the 2… X better act like he wants it…


    November 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Austin will be fine. All he needs to do is build up his leg strength to better his balance on the dribble & as a shooter! Just like you’ve said about the other young players will improve with time and reps, Austin Rivers will also improve. Austin Rivers has everything he needs as a professional, he just lacks leg strength!

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