OKC Thunder Patrick Patterson, Nerlens Noel miss SI 2019 Top 100 cut, Andre Roberson cited in snubs

Andre Roberson OKC Thunder, (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andre Roberson OKC Thunder, (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder land four on SI 2019 Top 100 Players while 2018 honorees Patrick Patterson and Nerlens Noel miss cut and Andre Roberson cited in the ‘snubs’ companion article.

Notably missing from Sports Illustrated Top 100 players is OKC Thunder defender Andre Roberson. Granted, every team will have arguments and points on why certain players should make the list. In this case Roberson’s injury definitely played a big factor.

Still, scanning various national sites will find Dre listed among the upper echelon of defenders and when other players suffered more significant injuries it does provide a window for debate.

Roberson cited in SI “snub” article:

Of note, a follow-up article by Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney listed the 25 players who essentially could’ve squeaked onto the top 100 list. Among them was Andre Roberson:

"When healthy, Roberson (5.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.2 APG) is the rare wing stifling enough to contend for Defensive Player of the Year. The trouble is that he isn’t. A ruptured patellar tendon already cost Roberson 43 games last season and, according to Roberson himself, could keep him out of the lineup until Christmas. Assuming he’s right, he would miss 33 games to start the year with no guarantee of playing to his usual standard. There is one compelling reason to put Roberson on this list… and a significant knee injury casts it into doubt. If Roberson isn’t able to chase star scorers and maneuver around screens to quite the same effect, his complete lack of offense could severely undercut his value. — RM"

What Mahoney may or may not know is Roberson isn’t approaching his healing time with a view to regain his former self. Rather, as T.I. writer Stephen Dolan accurately predicted he’s working with “Lethal Shooter” Chris Matthews in an effort to improve his shooting stroke simultaneously to working on regaining his original form.

Suffice to say if Dre returns with any semblance of his previous defensive wizardry (even for 49 games) and is able to shoot close to league average it could land him on the list. And, he won’t just make the 2020 list he’ll get major ranking consideration since contributing two-way players are the most coveted in the NBA.

Patterson, Noel dropped from 2019 top 100:

The four Thunder players could easily find other teammates joining them on the 2020 list with a solid 2018-19 season. Two who’ll be seeking to reclaim their 2018 designation on the list are Patrick Patterson (98) and Nerlens Noel (86).

In Patterson’s case his role shift and early season recovery from surgery led to his drop off. As for Noel a poor showing in Dallas resulted in his removal. Both could reclaim a spot if they prove last season was the exception and not a trend downward.

As for the four who did make the list make sure to check out TI’s thoughts on their placement and goals to move higher in 2020. Of note Rob Mahoney covered all the OKC Thunder players in the list write ups.

Why players fall down or off the list:

Examining last season’s list in comparison to this year offers notable shifts. Injury is the key caveat which affects ranking. For example, Kawhi Leonard dropped from fourth to 12th and Gordon Hayward fell from 16th to 25th. Other notable drops from a season ago which can be presumed to be based primarily on injury are:

Despite injury this year (and a history of being injury prone) Kyrie Irving interestingly rises from 21 to 17 on the list. However. this isn’t necessarily that surprising given he is the primary ball handler, scoring option and is surrounded by youthful assets and a returning Hayward.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Other drops occur based on factors such as a player shifting teams, a poor previous season, age (and presumably regression of their games), and shifts in team composition.

For example DeAndre Jordan drops from 28 to 43 as he joins a team with less depth in Dallas.  Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade fall off the list after ranking 37th and 74th respectively last season. Father time also drops Nowitzki from 71 to 96.

Sometimes the shifts are a combination of factors like Kyle Lowry dropping from 19th to 23rd. Personally I think Lowry will have a bigger role this season, but his four placement drop is probably a combination of his advancing age as well as the uncertainty of Leonard’s health and integration on the Raptors.

Logic would also dictate as a handful of rookies make their debuts on the list others fall off it to make room. This season those five rookies were Lonzo Ball (100), Lauri Markkanen (84 ), Taytum (39), Donovan Mitchell (34) and Simmons (26).

Thunder Trivia: uncovering 50 fun, surprising and random facts. dark. Next

To see the entire excepts of the Dennis Schroder, Steven Adams, Paul George, Russell Westbrook  and of all listed players I encourage you to check out the full listing and subsequent 25 snubs accompaniment.