Austin Rivers Eyes Home-Court Advantage in Orlando
The conclusion of the 2019-20 season will be unlike any in NBA history, with 22 team set to finish the year at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. Every game will officially be a neutral-site contest, but for Rockets guard Austin Rivers, there could be an element of home-court advantage.
"I don’t know a player in the NBA who has scored more points in the Milk House or the Wide World of Sports," Rivers told the media via Zoom. "I grew up in Orlando, so this is a true home-court advantage for me, to be completely honest."
Rivers' dad, Doc, coached the Magic from 1999-2004 before joining the Celtics in 2004. Houston's backup point guard was the No. 2 recruit in the class of 2011, leading Winter Park high school to back-back Florida 6A state championships.
Rivers is in his eighth NBA season, his second with Houston. The Duke product is averaging 23.4 minutes and 8.5 points per game in 2019-20, shooting a respectable 35.8% from three. Rivers was in the midst of a strong stretch before the NBA's suspension on March 11. He's made 44.4% of threes in his last 22 games since returning from a thumb injury on Jan. 22.
The Rockets enter the NBA's restart in Orlando No. 6 in the Western Conference at 40–24. Houston is currently tied with Oklahoma City for the No. 5 seed, and one game back of Utah for the No. 4 spot.
Houston resumes its regular season on July 31 against the Mavericks. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. CT.