I don't think Austin Rivers is supposed to bend that way. That just looks awful.
Four days prior to New Orleans' game against the Heat on Friday, Rivers came down awkwardly after attempting a layup against the Dallas Mavericks. Amazingly, the rookie guard only missed the preseason game against the Houston Rockets and was back in action against Miami.
Rivers was having a decent game against the Heat (only six points on 2-of-6 shooting but he had four assists and no turnovers) until late in the third quarter when he crumbled to the ground. He was trying to stop to cut to the basket when his right leg seemingly planted into the hardwood and refused to move.
Austin then bent backward over his right leg, falling to the ground in a heap of mangled pain. The replay was apparently a lot worse than the actual injury because Rivers was eventually able to walk to the locker room under his own power.
Rivers' issue at first looked quite serious. The No. 10 overall pick out of Duke in this year's draft did not return after his ankle injury, one where he initially couldn't put any weight on that side, then walked to the Hornets' locker room gingerly but without assistance.
X-rays weren't deemed necessary, but further evaluation was scheduled for Saturday.
"When I see him go down like that, you always think the worst," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "He's been able to come back from these kinds of injuries before. He's walking around. He's in the locker room. He wanted to come back into the game. ... Just glad he's OK."
After two gruesome looking injuries in one week, Rivers still wanted to play in the game. My how the youth are able to bounce back.
We're starting to learn that while Rivers' game might not be quite there for the NBA style of play yet, he's certainly as resilient as any young player we've seen in quite some time. If he can avoid time away from the court due to injury, he might not only be able to find his rhythm with the pro game but he might also prove to be some sort of superhero incapable of feeling pain.