Austin Rivers netted 7 points on his Knicks debut on the last night of 2021. But their rough shooting night meant that he got ignored despite being wide open.
Rivers has had a journeyman’s career so far. Into his 9th season as an NBA player, Rivers is now a shadow of the player he was projected to be on draft night. But he’s still a valuable player to certain types of teams given his ability to facilitate, shoot and defend reasonably.
But the Knicks found it tough to take advantage of his shooting last night. They shot a woeful 3-of-36 from the field, and got eviscerated in the 4th by the Raptors.
Kyle Lowry and Fred van Vleet each hit more than that by themselves for the Raptors. The latter finished with 25 points, while the former had himself 20 in their first win of the season.
Austin Rivers ignored by Julius Randle despite being open for corner 3-pointer
The former Rockets and Clippers guard ran to the right corner on the break. An ordinarily good team would’ve certainly found him for the open shot then. But this was a Knicks team which only had 10 points during the 10th minute of the game.
Randle held off passing to Rivers in the corner the first time, and their eventual shot was off. They managed to snag the offensive rebound, and Rivers was open once again. But Randle failed to pass to him yet again, and the possession petered out.
Austin Rivers made his Knicks debut & at first, a couple of guys didn’t realize that he’s on their team now. pic.twitter.com/STwzh2oSir
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 1, 2021
This start does not bode well for the Knicks, who seem destined for the lottery for an 8th straight season.