Oklahoma City Thunder Need Andre Roberson To Become Valuable Role Player in 2014-15

By Matt Barnes
player profile_andre roberson
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Roberson may very well become a household name after a relatively quiet and unproductive rookie season for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013-14. He played in a total of 40 games, starting 16 of them and had numerous assignments to the NBA D-league. While he may not be very well known at this current juncture in his career, one year of experience may propel this no-name to recognition in 2014-15.

Roberson is a graduate of University of Colorado where he played three seasons, averaging nearly 12 rebounds a game and won the 2012-13 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award. He’s 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, which quite average for his small forward position. During his time at Colorado, his defensive prowess was frequently on display, crashing boards and defending wing slashers at an eye-poppingly high level.

He was then selected in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who ultimately shipped him off the OKC where he contributed minimally to a star-studded team loaded with All-Stars across the board. It’s tough to get minutes on this team.

His offense certainly lacks which may hinder his production and playing time for the Thunder, as their biggest problem is bench scoring. If he is to develop into a key role player for this playoff team, he’ll need to focus significantly more on his all-around offensive game, especially his three-point shooting. The Thunder are notorious for wing defenders who can shoot the three — see Thabo Sefolosha — and Roberson blends seamlessly into that mold. He shot a putrid 15.4 percent from three in his inaugural season, throwing up more bricks than a house out of “The Three Little Pigs”.

It’s time for Roberson to make a difference. He has the skill set but maybe not the confidence, which will surely come with time. Until then, keep your eyes open for this first-year no-show to break out into a significant role player.

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