Andre Roberson might have been one of the most talked about players on the Thunder roster last season. There probably weren’t a lot of good things said about him during the majority of the regular season. His defense was inconsistent at times, and he certainly wasn’t producing anything on offense. However, the post-season came around and Roberson turned into a different player. Suddenly he was coming up huge on defense and performing offensively like he never has before. By the time the season had ended, he was finally looking like a starter.
Roberson was brought in to be a defensive presence at shooting guard. Sam Presti has always been a fan of having a defensive minded guard. After Thabo Sefolosha was traded away it left Roberson as the defensive specialist for the team, and he has improved immensely from his first two years in the league. This will be the fourth season in the NBA for the shooting guard from Colorado and considering his young age, the future seems to be exciting for him.
When you take a look at the stats from his rookie season to this past year the difference is astounding. As a rookie, he averaged 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He shot 48% percent that season which is pretty impressive. The only problem was his lack of shots. He is definitely more comfortable being a defense first type player. During the middle of the 2014-2015 season he started to get more looks on offense and those opportunities only increased during this past year. At the end of this season he was averaging 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. His input was greatly noticed and much needed as a starter for this team.
The most notable part of his short career was his performance in the 2016 Thunder playoff run. Roberson increased his game averages to 5.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, and 1.3 steals. As I stated earlier, his game became better rounded and he looked like he was finally stepping into a roll as a starter.
With the departure of Kevin Durant this summer, his role for the 2016-17 season remains uncertain. Many people, including myself, believe he will move into the small forward position. This shouldn’t be a hard transition to make for Roberson as he has played in the 3 spot before. Perhaps the biggest question for the new season is how will the Thunder replace the scoring of Kevin Durant. I think the answer is pretty simple. Roberson is set to have his best offensive season of his career. On top of that, you can add the offensive power of Victor Oladipo. Do not expect a lack of scoring with a group of guards that include Westbrook, Oladipo, and Roberson.
There is no doubt that Andre Roberson will jump into a much larger role this coming season. Entering his fourth year, at just 24 years old, with more experience and primed with confidence, he is set to have the best season of his career. I would expect to see some pretty impressive things from him this season.
Check out Roberson’s highlights from his career high 17 point game against Golden State in the Western Conference Finals:
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @thethunderguys on Twitter.