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Austin Rivers at NBA rookie photoshoot.
When former Duke point guard Austin Rivers declared he would enter the draft, many were concerned the young guard was jumping the gun. After all, Rivers had only spent one year under Coach K, which is hardly enough experience to play in the NBA.
Moreover, though Rivers was a great asset offensively and helped Duke win many of their games, he also had a lot of flaws to offset that.
Duke needed Rivers to be their point guard, but his shoot-first mentality is not the kind a floor general should have. He averaged a team-high 15.5 points per game, but averaged more turnovers (2.3) than assists (2.1). If he is to compete at the same level as the elite point guards in the league, Rivers needs to stop playing selfish basketball and instead play team basketball.
He needs Ubuntu, something his father, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, often stresses with his own team.
In addition to his reluctance to pass the ball, Rivers is not the best defensive player. At Duke, he tended to focus more on his offensive moves rather than on guarding. He racked up an average of 3.4 boards a game, which is also fairly low for a guard.
Bigger players will exploit this and burn Rivers on the defensive end.
Though he said he couldn't wait to destroy 2011-2012 NBA MVP LeBron James, Rivers will soon be eating his words. He simply has too many minor but very problematic areas in his game to stand out next season.