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OKC Thunder: Andre Roberson does the little things well

Small forward out of Colorado excels on defense and on the glass.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 9, 2013

He remembers both well, especially the 21-point thrashing of Stanford.

“I had a great defensive game,” Roberson said. “I played on an unbelievable level. I wasn't really worried about scoring. I was just out there in my zone just being aggressive and tenacious.”

Kalamian credited Roberson for being a “traffic rebounder,” a guy who crashes the boards and comes away with rebounds despite being surrounded by multiple bodies. That knack was on display against Detroit. It seemed like each time a shot went up, Roberson was slithering his way into the painted area looking to secure a rebound.

Most impressive is how Roberson's 19 rebounds over the past two days have come against sizable front lines of Orlando and Detroit.

“We've played bigger, stronger guys and he's been able to get in there and help us (rebound),” Kalamian said.

Roberson, despite being just 21, said he likes to emulate Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Shawn Marion. Though Roberson isn't quite as athletic, Marion seems like an ideal player for Roberson to pattern his game after. Roberson said he's often compared to Marion and players like Kawhi Leonard and Matt Barnes.

“You just take bits and pieces from everybody,” Roberson said.

Though his offensive game will need to develop, it's not unreasonable to think Roberson can blossom into a nice weapon on that end as well. He doesn't try to be something he isn't and has a good basketball IQ, which helps him float to the right spots or cut at the proper time for layups. In time, he also could develop a reliable 3-point shot, particularly from the corners, a spot he's already attempting to become more comfortable with.

“Everything on the offensive end can be worked on,” Roberson said. “Not one specific area. Everything in my game can be worked on easily. But just being consistent at hitting a wide-open jumper when it's kicked to me (is important). But other than that I feel like I'm in a good position.”