OKC Thunder: Andre Roberson continues to impress in emergency starts

The Thunder rookie was assigned to guard 18-year NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
by Anthony Slater Published: December 13, 2013

When Thunder coach Scott Brooks called the rookie back from D-League Tulsa earlier this week, this is exactly what he envisioned.

He threw Roberson on Kyle Korver in Atlanta. The Hawks sharpshooter was held to 1-of-6 from three (“Don't give him any space,” Roberson said of Brooks' instructions).

Then, he harassed Jerryd Bayless in Memphis, helping the Thunder hold one of the Grizzlies better scorers to 10 points in a blowout win.

And Friday, he served as a primary disrupter during Kobe's rough night.

“Coming in to supply energy and rebounding and doing the intangibles,” Roberson said of his role. “We already got scorers on the offensive end, so that's not really my job or role.”

But moving forward, it remains Roberson's biggest roadblock to consistent minutes.

In some ways, he's a pretty good offensive player, cutting and slashing, flying in for offensive boards and finishing around the rim.

But his shot is about as unreliable as it gets. He tossed a corner three off the side of the backboard on Friday and just looks generally uncomfortable with the ball on the perimeter.

“It's something we are going to have to continue to work on,” Brooks said of Roberson's shot.

But for now, in this current role of Thabo Lite, he is excelling.

“I'm just having him focus on defense,” Brooks said. “We want him to be a high-level defender in this league.”

So far, so good.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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