Five way too early bold predictions for the OKC Thunder upcoming season

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder guard Andre Roberson (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Andre Roberson returns to the court healthy and is back to being a dominant defender

How great would it be for Andre Roberson to recover from the horrible leg injury he suffered at the beginning of 2018 to come back and be himself once again on the defensive end?

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Before going down in 2018, the Thunder were one of if not the best defensive team in the league and were riding high in the Western Conference.

If OKC had Roberson vs the Jazz in 2018, do they advance? I think so. If they had him vs Portland in 2019 do they advance? Possibly.

Since Roberson went down the OKC Thunder struggled to find a replacement at the shooting guard spot. They tried Terrance Ferguson but he was simply too young to make a huge impact in a postseason setting.

Before Roberson went down, he was headed towards a potential DPOY campaign. Roberson was second in Defensive Real Plus-Minus in 2017-2018 (a stat that heavily favors big men) behind the eventual winner Rudy Gobert. Lineups featuring Roberson were among one of the best in the league.

Roberson also graded out as the top defender in @The_BBall_Index’s defensive grading for the 2017-2018 season

And according to 538’s new DRAYMOND defensive rating, since the 2013 season, Roberson has been the 6th best defender in the NBA, and the top wing defender on the list. It’s easy to forget how good Roberson was on the defensive end due to him being off the court for over a year and a half, but anybody who watched OKC knew how good he was.

Coming back healthy and as dominant as ever would not only be good for OKC Thunder fans but obviously for him as well. As an expiring deal he could potentially be on the move depending on how he plays, and maybe then could his defensive ability shine once again on a contending team.

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That wraps up my five bold predictions for the OKC Thunder next season. They might seem too bold, but it’s fun to speculate on potential so I invite you to offer your bold predictions in the comments section below.