Benefit of healthy Andre Roberson to rebuilding OKC Thunder is invaluable

OKC Thunder, Andre Roberson (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, Andre Roberson (Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr./NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Klay Thompson goes up for a shot against Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson of the OKCThunder (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

With the NBA evolving into a 3-point centric league, teams (specifically the Warriors) have started running multiple players off screens/actions in order to get them free for open jumpers. This is one of the reasons why elite perimeter defenders like Roberson, Robert Covington, and Paul George are so valued in today’s NBA.

Off-Ball Defense:

Roberson’s relentless defensive motor and awareness give him the ability to track shooters such as Klay Thompson all throughout the offensive sets.

Golden States famous motion offense, running players off multiple off-ball screens to free them up for a 3-pointer. Roberson does an excellent job at sticking with Thompson and avoiding multiple screens.

Another example in the same game, this play is seemingly designed for Klay Thompson and it is thrown out of wack due to Roberson’s ball denial.

Roberson’s physicality and motor are shown in this clip above as he follows Klay step for step and then switches off and guards Draymond as he drives towards the basket.

In the above clip, he showcases off-ball, awareness to put a hand in the passing lane and get the easy steal


Simply put, Roberson is one of the best defenders in the NBA when healthy. He has the size and length to comfortably defend almost any 3/4 (small/power forwards) and has the foot speed and length to occasionally guard one and two’s (guards) like Jimmy Butler and James Harden. If Roberson comes back healthy, you should see his full athleticism on display with his good lateral movement and recovery speed.

However, Roberson is not a perfect player and over the past year and a half he’s been out, I have a few things I hope he worked on.