The 5 most underrated Nuggets starters from the Jokic era

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Austin Rivers, Denver Nuggets.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 16: Austin Rivers #25 of the Denver Nuggets looks on against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA basketball game at Chase Center on February 16, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Austin Rivers

Austin Rivers served as Campazzo’s unlikely backcourt mate during the 2021 playoffs thanks to the absence of both Barton and Murray. In the first round, the Rivers-Campazzo tandem did enough to claim victory over a backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

Rivers had one of the most underrated playoff series in Denver Nuggets history when he torched the Blazers from downtown in a six-game showdown. The gritty combo guard shot an absurd 48.4% from three on more than five attempts per game. He averaged 11.5 points across six contests and buried 15 total treys.

Rivers initially joined the Nuggets on a 10-day contract at the tail end of the 2020-21 regular season. Denver signed him for the remainder of the season after that, and he played with Jokic and company until the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

As a Nugget, Rivers started 23 total regular season games and averaged 7.7 points in these contests. His defensive tenacity and willingness to play whatever role was asked of him gave Denver the spark they needed to stay competitive amid countless injury woes.

In his heyday, Rivers could score at a pretty high level. During his last year with the Clippers, he poured in 15.1 points per game and added four assists per game. Five seasons have gone by since, but Rivers showed glimpses of his L.A. form with the Nuggets.

Rivers dropped 20 or more points three different times with Denver, including a pair of 25-point performances. While he didn’t serve as a primary scoring option with the 2023 champs, Rivers could get buckets when called upon.

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