Austin Rivers signed a three-year, $35 million deal in the offseason to return to the LA. Clippers as the backup guard. However, through the first 12 games of the season, Rivers is shooting just 38.3% from the field, which is the lowest since shooting 37.2% during his rookie year, and just 20% from downtown, which is easily a career low.
According to NBA.com/Stats, Rivers shot a respectable 40.9% on catch-and-shoot jumpshots last season, including 39.3% from downtown. However, the fifth-year guard out of Duke is shooting just 21.7% on catch-and-shoot jumpshots and 23.8% from on catch-and-shoot three-pointers through 12 games in which the Clippers have accumulated a 10-2 record.
Rivers’ sharpshooting teammate J.J. Redick, an 11-year NBA veteran and one of the best pure shooters in the league throughout his career, is shooting 42.9% on catch-and-shoot jumpshots this season, including 43.2% from beyond the arc. With Rivers struggling through consistency issues early on, he’s turned to Redick to help him improve his jumpshot.
“Yeah, they say you gotta shoot with the best if you wanna get better,” says Rivers on working with Redick. “J.J. is probably the best shooter in the league as far as just running off screens and stuff. I don’t know anybody really better than him. You got Klay, Steph, and J.J. as far as just pure shooting. There’s not too many people doing what he does at the percentage that he does.”
After practices and morning shootarounds, Rivers can be seen on the court taking jumpshots and playing a little shooting game with Redick. Rivers says it’s something new he’s doing this year in order to learn from the best.
“The past couple months, that’s my routine now on gamedays, just shoot with J.J. and just pick up on little things. I think when you shoot with someone who’s a better shooter than you, that forces you to try to compete with them, makes you start to shoot better, and feel confident about yourself. You just push yourself to try to compete and stay with someone like that.
“I know I’ve picked up on a lot of his shooting just cuz he’s a better shooter than me. I try to pick up as many things as possible.”
Austin Rivers working on his shot with J.J. Redick at Clippers shoot-around this morning. pic.twitter.com/daoFbBfh5I
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) November 16, 2016
As he’s matured and learned the NBA game over the years, Rivers are started to focus on the little things in regards to his shot. Rivers has never been a great catch-and-shoot jumpshooter throughout his career at just 36.9% catch-and-shoot field goals and 37.4% on catch-and-shoot attempts from downtown. However, with so many playmakers on this Clippers team like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford, and Raymond Felton, developing a better, as well as more consistent, catch-and-shoot game would do wonders for the team.
When asked if there was anything specific he’s looking for in Redick’s shot that could help him improve his, Rivers spoke of the little things he’s noticing and learning from.
“Really just staying in your shot. That’s been the key thing. A lot of times I’ll shoot and put my hands down, or shoot and move. J.J. is a consistent shooter whether he’s on balance or not, he always shoots the same shot every time. He always keeps his follow through, sometimes he might fade, but he shoots the same shot.
“Past couple games I haven’t shot well and I look at that and a lot of it is just inconsistency of my mechanics, so that’s one thing I’ve picked up from J.J.”