Austin Rivers' Hamstring Injury Likely to Keep Him out Until Clippers' Playoffs

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2017

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 14: Austin Rivers #25 of the LA Clippers handles the ball against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center on December 14, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Manuela Davies/Getty Images)
Manuela Davies/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers' backcourt depth is in trouble, as guard Austin Rivers is unlikely to suit up again until the postseason. 

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said his son's hamstring injury is "a pretty good one," and he is hoping to have him back in time for the beginning of the playoffs, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register

The playoffs begin on April 15. 

Rivers is in the midst of arguably his best NBA season, averaging 12.0 points, 2.8 assists and 2.2 rebounds while shooting 44.2 percent in 27.8 minutes a night. Rivers was injured during Wednesday's matchup against the Washington Wizards.

After New Orleans selected him with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the Duke product joined the Clippers as part of a trade in 2015.

He developed into a key reserve under head coach and father Doc Rivers last season, putting up a career-high 8.9 points per game behind starters Chris Paul and J.J. Redick.

L.A. is among the NBA's deepest teams, but Rivers is an important piece because of his offensive dynamism and versatility.

Rivers is a quality ball-handler who's capable of picking up minutes as a backup point guard, but he can also play shooting guard when Redick needs a rest.

While he was an inefficient player early in his career, Rivers has improved significantly and even developed into a threat from beyond the arc, which helps keep the opposition honest when Redick isn't on the floor.         

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