For the last six weeks, New Orleans Pelicans second-year guard Austin Rivers has patiently bided his time, knowing in his mind the eventuality that became reality this week would one day transpire.

Pelicans swingman Tyreke Evans will be sidelined up to two weeks with a sprained left ankle, the same one he sprained in the team's first exhibition game that required a three-week recovery period.

Stuck at the end of the New Orleans bench, and, for the most part, an odd-man out in Monty Williams' game-night rotations, Rivers has played in just 12 of the Pelicans' 19 games heading into Wednesday night's home outing against the Detroit Pistons.

That's not the sort of resume-building anyone expected from the 10th overall choice in the 2012 NBA Draft.

But with Evans out of the lineup for a couple weeks, Rivers now has the chance to display what he has learned and put into motion some of the same sort of attributes Evans possesses.

"That's what I told you earlier in the year, when you asked what I was thinking and how my mindset was, or how tough the situation is," Rivers said about not playing. "I said we have guys who tend to go down the way Tyreke and Eric (Gordon) play.

"They go to the basket so much, and it's such a physical game down there in the paint. Guys are going to get hurt. The young guys have to be ready to play. So I have to be ready to play now. This is an opportunity for me. I'm going to make the most of it. And I'm going to be ready to play Wednesday."

Having Evans on the floor this season has helped to create open looks for the Pelicans' 3-point shooters such as Gordon, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Morrow, primarily because when Evans drives to the basket, the opposing defense must decide whether to collapse another defender on Evans – which leaves someone open on the outside – or play honest and maintain man-to-man principles.

Williams believes though Evans is out, Rivers may be able to pick up the slack.

"I think Austin may get a shot to do some of that," Williams said. "He's capable. Austin has got the ability to do some of the stuff that Tyreke does. So we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Tyreke is certainly good at that, attacking the basket, finding guys. Guys have to step up. We're not going to sit here and roll over because we've got guys out. I've never been that way."

Rivers seemed confident that he can capably fill Evans' role for as long as the Pelicans need.