Los Angeles Clippers guard Austin Rivers suffered a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s 133-124 victory over the Washington Wizards. While initially diagnosed as a strain, head coach Doc Rivers said “It was a pretty good one” and is hoping that Rivers can return before the Clippers first-round playoff match-up. The playoffs start April 15th, giving Rivers a little over two weeks to try and get healthy.
— MGVW-Follow (@MGVW_John) March 31, 2017
Rivers, 24, is having the best year of his six-year NBA career, carving out a good niche as a scorer off the bench. With averages of 12.0 points, 2.8 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 44.2 percent in 27.8 minutes per-game, Rivers is having a career year.
Originally selected 10th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans (Hornets at the time), Rivers was expected to be a dynamite volume-shooter after a solid one-and-done season at Duke University. Things never truly clicked in New Orleans for the former McDonald’s All-American and number two overall prospect though. Within a three-day span in 2015 Rivers was involved in two three-team trades which landed him with the Clippers. This meant that on January 16th, Rivers became the first son to play for his father in NBA History.
Doc Rivers said Austin Rivers hamstring strain is “a pretty good one.” Hopes to have him back by start of playoffs.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 31, 2017
While many have joked about Rivers father keeping his NBA career afloat, that’s not exactly the case anymore. The Clippers are known for having a deep roster and Rivers gives them an athletic and versatile guard, making him a key reserve. A consistent ball-handler who excels in pick-and-roll, Rivers has also become a reliable three-point shooter, hitting at the 38 percent mark, which helps space the floor when J.J Reddick is off the floor.
Hamstrings can be tricky and with the Clippers already clinching a playoff spot, it doesn’t make sense to make it worse. While they could be fighting for seeding as only 2.5 games separate the 4 through 6 seeds, the team could decide to rest him for their main rotation as they have had injuries to other key members, including Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.