By Calvin Alexander
A San Antonio native, Andre Roberson played forward in college at Colorado. He has been compared to Thabo Sefolosha since he entered the league. He draws these comparisons because he replaced Thabo Sefolosha in the starting lineup for the Thunder after Sefolosha left in free agency for the Atlanta Hawks.
So why is Roberson better than Sefolosha? It’s pretty simple, he plays big in the playoffs. Roberson is averaging 8.3 points in the Western Conference Finals. Roberson has been shaky from deep his whole career, but in the playoffs, this year, he has proven to be the deciding factor in big games. In game six versus the Spurs he was 3-5 behind the arc and last night against the Warriors in game three he was again 3-5.
In years past Sefolosha would be left wide open on the perimeter. He would miss every big shot. Roberson, on the other hand, has made big shots down the stretch, especially in big games.
In the regular season when Roberson was open from the three point line or even from a mid-range jump shot, teams would leave him open to shoot. He was not being guarded, now in the playoffs Roberson has been making big time shots, he is still below 40% from three, but at least teams are now having to close out and force him to make a tough shot.
Roberson’s defense has been remarkable, he has forced the Warriors guards and forwards to take tough shots or to pass up the ball. In games one and three against the Warriors, Roberson has proven himself as an elite defender. When the Warriors make their shots, like in game two, no one can defend them, but when they are forced to take tough shots for the majority of the game, then their opponent has a chance. The Thunder have taken the Warriors out of their game plan and made good decisions, which is how they have beaten the Warriors so far and gotten the 2-1 series lead.
ONE TAKE: Draymond Green
Getting in another player’s head is something I can relate to and understand. Being physical and rough in the game of basketball certainly has its place.
But here is the thing, have you ever seen a player kick their leg up in the air high enough that it is parallel with their waist? Even if they are trying to get a call?
I haven’t, I do not know anyone who has. Not in any league or level of basketball. That being said, bring it on Draymond Green. I would rather beat the Warriors at their best than hear excuse after excuse that the only reason the Thunder won a game is that Green missed the game.
Green posted the worst +/- game ever recorded in NBA history. I know in game four he will probably do better, but he played the rest of game three and it didn’t make a difference, so maybe it won’t in game four.
The Thunder just need to make good decisions with the ball, not play a bunch of iso or hero ball and let the role players play to their strengths, then head back to Oakland with the series 3-1.
Just my 2 cents on what happened to Steven Adams’ Kiwis