After impressing coaches during 38 high-energy minutes in four preseason games, Andre Roberson got an extended look on Sunday.
Overall, it didn't go well, as the rookie fouled out in 24 minutes during the Thunder's 88-82 win over Utah. He grabbed three rebounds and scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting.
But Scott Brooks and Kevin Durant remained positive about Roberson's effort.
“I think experience is so good for all of our guys,” Brooks said. “And he's no different than all of our other guys who went through it.”
Already established as a solid defender and tenacious rebounder, Roberson continued to struggle on offense.
Left wide open for two corner 3-pointers, Roberson missed both, including one off the side of the backboard.
“He did a great job playing defense, being aggressive, rebounding the basketball and taking the open shots,” Durant said of Roberson. “That's really what we want him to do: Be confident in his jumpshot, be confident on the offensive end.”
NICE GAME FOR SERGE
Quietly, Serge Ibaka has put together a solid preseason.
In five games, the Thunder big man is averaging a consistent 14.8 points, scoring double-digits in every contest.
And on the defensive interior, he has continued to provide a menacing paint presence, averaging three blocks.
On Sunday against the Jazz, he scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots.
“I thought Serge was really good tonight,” Brooks said. “He was really protecting the basket, particularly late in the game. He had a couple blocks, a couple alters and that's the type of play we need out of Serge.”
KD GETS SOME REST
After struggling through a 2-of-10 shooting performance in 18 first-half minutes, Brooks gave Durant his first extended rest of the preseason, sitting his superstar for the entire second half.
Brooks has hinted at resting Durant an entire game at least once in the preseason. The last two chances for him to follow through come Tuesday in Phoenix and Wednesday in Wichita against the Bulls.
STAT OF THE GAME
Steven Adams has 41 rebounds in 108 preseason minutes, which equates to 13.6 boards per 36 minutes.
Adams had 10 rebounds on Sunday, one game after he grabbed 15.
UGLY STRETCH OF THE GAME
Oklahoma City shot 2-of-19 in the fourth quarter, scoring only 11 points and allowing the Jazz to turn a blowout into a semi-respectable final score. Most of this was done with Thunder backups on the floor.