We knew it was going to be a growing process for the New Orleans Hornets. Even having two top-ten draft picks does not guarantee you instant success. They are a young team that needs time to grow and gel together.
That “gelling” process has taken a couple hits this year when top overall pick Anthony Davis has gone down with injury. Davis has missed 15 games so far this year and seems to always be playing at less than 100 percent, even when he is in the lineup.
Now the Hornets take another hit, potentially losing rookie Austin Rivers for up to six weeks. Rivers reportedly broke a bone in his hand during last night’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
So far it has been an inconsistent year for Rivers, who is averaging 6.2 points and 2.1 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. He had a game back in December where he scored 27 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on 9-for-14 shooting, but for the most part he has stayed in single digits.
Rivers actually looked like he was on pace for one of his better games against the Lakers last night. He scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting in 15 minutes before he jammed his hand on one of his teammates. Maybe if Rivers stays on the floor, the Hornets do not have a monumental collapse that leads to one of the more embarrassing losses this season.
If the timetable is correct for Rivers’ hand recovery, he has probably played his last game this season. For both Rivers and the Hornets, hopefully brighter days are ahead.
New Orleans probably had sights set a little higher than a 21-41 record after 62 games but maybe they are just focused on their upcoming name change. The team is going to have a shot at another high lottery pick again this year, so it is probably just best to try and look forward to next season.