http://www.foxsportssouth.com/10/19...landing_hawks.html?blockID=807015&feedID=3703ATLANTA — Austin Rivers' arms are extended, palms facing the Phillips Arena rafters.
He doesn't trust himself. He's thinking too much, over-contemplating the cuts and screens that serve a greater purpose in his new role with the New Orleans Hornets. His coach, Monty Williams, notices as well. Following his team's 97-68 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Williams tersely answered a question on whether Rivers looks hesitant with a decisive and abrupt, "Yes."
"I'm thinking so much. That's not who I am," said Rivers, who scored 11 points in the loss. "Some players like to think a lot, but that's not who I am. I'm the complete opposite. I just go."
This is not the Austin Rivers the basketball world is accustomed to watching.
Rivers stocked up the highlight reels for Duke in his lone season at the college level, leading a relatively talent-depleted Blue Devils' squad to a 27-7 record and an NCAA tournament bid — which culminated in a first-round loss to Lehigh and his NBA exodus.
At times last season, he was the only hope for coach Mike Krzyzewski's offense. When Duke's back was against the wall against a solid defensive team, it often fell to Rivers and his innate driving ability to get to the basket and cause teams to react. It was his burden to carry: sometimes it worked — his game-winning 3-pointer against North Carolina will remain in NCAA lore for decades — and other times it didn't.
But his role is different now.