He was being recognized as a lock down defender in the Association and the first defensive option for the opposing team’s best offensive player. He was Oklahoma City’s wing protector. He was on his way to being a first team all-NBA defensive player and a strong choice as the defensive player of the year in the league (with respect to Draymond Green, Paul George and any other two way player that is regarded as best.) Never an all-star, a very poor shooter, and even worse free thrower, Andre Roberson had made his niche as “the stopper” for OKC, not only this year, but in his total career on Reno Street.
Roberson tore his patellar tendon in his left knee. On Sunday morning, the Thunder formally announced that Roberson had in fact injured his knee, and that he would undergo season-ending surgery.
With his surgery yesterday, Andre Roberson’s season for OKC is finished for 2017-2918.
As Steven Adams OKC’s starting center stated in Detroit the evening of the injury:
“It’s s—. It’s real s—, He’s a huge part of our team and why we win. It’s a huge blow to us, but we’re just gonna have to rely on some other players to step up.”
As of Jordan Greer of The Sporting News:
Roberson’s abilities unlocked everything on that end of the floor for the Thunder, particularly when he worked with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams. When Roberson is on the floor with that starting lineup, OKC’s defensive rating is 95.9, but that number drops to 114.5 with Roberson on the bench, according to NBA.com. And despite Roberson’s poor shooting, the difference on offense is negligible.
Andre Roberson is not the Thunder’s best overall player. But as a starter and contributor on this current team, his role was as important as any.
The Thunder will not be as good overall with the loss of this defensive stalwart. This hit on the team will be significant in the bad way.
That is the way I see it sports fans.
Feature Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio/AP
Secondary Photo Credit: The Oklahoman