NBA Draft 2012: Instant Analysis of the Hornets' Draft Night

Will OsgoodAnalyst IJune 28, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Austin Rivers (R) of the Duke Blue Devils greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number ten overall by the New Orleans Hornets during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Thursday night the New Orleans Hornets did what everyone knew they would do, draft Kentucky forward Anthony Davis. That was anything but a surprise. 

Just nine picks later they got to add to their coup of players. Then the Hornets went with a bit of a surprise by taking Duke guard Austin Rivers" target="_blank" href="">Austin Rivers. 

Sure Rivers was projected by many as a lottery pick. And many believed Rivers was the Hornets' most likely target headed into Thursday's draft. 

But Rivers is a shooting guard, not a guy most draft experts saw as someone capable of running the point. That means Rivers will be playing the same position as franchise player Eric Gordon. 

And that combination simply doesn't make a lot of sense. 

Upon the selection coming in, ESPN's Jay Bilas deemed that Rivers "needs to improve as a defender" but "will work hard". We do know for sure Monty Williams will make Rivers work hard and won't allow him to play if he is not defending with passion and awareness. 

Rivers has been noted for his confidence, which many consider to border on cocky. But in his own ESPN interview he came across as appreciative, humble and confident, which of course is the best possible combination. 

His biggest issue is going to be the position he plays. He of course had more turnovers than assists in his one year at Duke, making point guard seem unlikely. 

If Monty Williams can figure that out, and find a scheme that allows both Gordon and Rivers to lead the team in scoring, they may just have something. 

Make no mistake about it though, this is still Gordon's team. And it will be as long as Gordon wants it to be. 

Many questions remain. But at least the Hornets got two very talented basketball players with two of the first 10 picks in this draft.