The Washington Wizards season ended in disappointment once again after losing in the first round to the Toronto Raptors. John Wall missed half the season after surgery and this team never seemed together. Marcin Gortat called out Wall on more than one occasion and he was traded in the off-season for Austin Rivers.
It would be easy to say all eyes will be on Wall this season but that is too obvious. So I decided to choose Austin Rivers instead. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking it’s only Austin Rivers, why would people pay attention to him?
Austin Rivers had one of the worst rookie seasons in NBA history. Some say he would have been out of the league if he was not acquired by his father Doc Rivers. While on the Clippers Rivers has become a decent NBA player. Despite what people may think he is tough, he tries on defense and he has just enough confidence to swing a playoff game.
Rivers might be the backup guard the Wizards so desperately need right now. The Wizards are usually bad when the bench has to come in and with Wall’s recent injury history, Rivers may be needed to play more. Luckily for him he started 59 games last season. Over the past two seasons Rivers has hit 100+ 3-pointers and shot at least 37% from deep.
Washington needs to stagger John Wall and Bradley Beal more often. Rivers is a good enough defender that they could go with some three guard lineups as well. He’s a good enough shooter that he spaces the floor for Wall to operate. If the Wizards go small with Wall, Beal, Rivers, Porter and Morris, they could have some advantages.
This season may determine if Rivers was only in the league because of his dad or if he has finally earned his stripes as a solid role player in the league. The starters will get most of the praise but a good role player will always be noticed.