Brian Roberts Will Quietly be Important for New Orleans Pelicans Next Year
Changes are obviously coming to the NBA organization in New Orleans. The first and most obvious, as well as perhaps the biggest, change is the fact that the former Hornets will now be the New Orleans Pelicans, complete with new logo, mascot and all. However, the thing that the fans and the organization would most like to change is their fortunes and their losing ways.
Selecting Anthony Davis in the 2012 NBA Draft was a nice way to start that process, but they still have a long way to go. This team has a plethora of young and inexperienced players on the roster that are just getting completely comfortable at the professional level and could make a leap next season. One of those players is 27-year-old Brian Roberts.
Though Roberts is well out of college, this was his rookie season in the NBA, having played in the NBA Developmental League and in Europe over the past few years. In his rookie season, he didn’t look bad, though, playing 17 minutes per game and averaging 7.1 points, 2.8 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game on 38.6 three-point shooting. He also posted a nice assist ratio of 26.2 percent, meaning he assisted on 26.2 percent of the possessions that he had the ball.
Roberts, because of injuries throughout the team, had to start five games throughout the season. In those five games he averaged 41.8 minutes and put up 12.6 points, 10 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game on 43.8 percent three-point shooting. The only real complaint about Roberts’ stats over the season and in his starts was his inefficient overall shooting, hitting just 41.7 percent of his attempts over the year and just 37.3 percent of his shot in his five starts.
However, Roberts was just a rookie. As he goes into his sophomore season he is likely to play a much more prominent role for the Pelicans. He’s likely to be the primary backup to Greivis Vasquez and if Austin Rivers fails to progress, Roberts may be needed to play serious minutes at shooting guard next year. Either way, Roberts will need to continue to play well and show growth next year for New Orleans.