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Thunder Views: A City of Brotherly Love and Hate, the Andre Roberson Story

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Embiid, Roberson, Russ, and whole lot of free basketball.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was pure chaos in the best way possible. We had Andre Roberson blowing layups, Patrick Patterson making game-winning blocks, and a Joel Embiid - Carmelo Anthony/Russell Westbrook/everyone beef. I’d like to say that covers most of the Thunder’s 3OT win, but I’d be lying. It was wild, confusing, and tremendous, but hey, OKC is finally back to .500.

Spotlight

So Andre Roberson hasn’t always been the greatest offensive player for OKC, and that’s putting it nicely. He has great value on the defensive end, which we saw tonight, but can also have a wavering confidence with the ball, which we also saw.

The Sixers’ help defense often chose to abandon Roberson for double-teams on Russ and Melo, which was a consistent pattern that Bruce Brown was clearly comfortable sticking with. This gave us a look into both the good and bad of Roberson.

Example A

In the final minute of the second overtime, we saw the bad. Roberson gets a stop on the defensive end. Things are good at this point. Donovan leaves him in rather than going with an offensive sub, which naturally leads the ball to Roberson in the closing seconds. Here’s the bad:

That highlight is pretty cringeworthy. Looks as though Roberson is horrified to shoot the ball.

Example B

The same attempt occurs in the following OT period, and Roberson makes up for example A by converting this time around.

Am I confident when the Roberson has the ball? No. Will I ever be? Probably not. But he got it done last night. Sort of. And that’s all that matters.

P.S. Roberson was on a minute restriction Friday due to an ankle injury, but ended up playing 34 minutes.

Quick Rumbles

  • Russell Westbrook recorded his 10th triple double of the season last night, going for 27 points, 18 rebounds, and 15 assists. He was rather inefficient again, going 10-33 FG in 52 minutes.
  • Melo and PG each finished with 24 on the night, with Melo going 11-17 from the field, mostl on catch-and-shoot jumers.
  • Steven Adams had 5 points and 11 rebounds on just 2-8 shooting. Joel Embiid can make things difficult.
  • OKC has now won 6 of 8 games and 3 straight on the road.
  • Patrick Patterson’s game winning block, a fantastic example of 2 smart defenders (Robes was trailing Reddick) stretching an offensive set a few feet farther out than they wanted, with 2Pat making the switch and close-out to seal the win:
  • Here’s Russ waving goodbye to Embiid, which was in resonse to Embiid’s waving goodbye to Steven Adams after he had fouled out:
  • Insert gritty win snarl

A Look Ahead

A triple overtime game is a tough way to start a back-to-back, but the Thunder’s legs will be tested as they head to Madison Square Garden to face off against the Knicks on Saturday night.

One of the Thunder’s players used to play for the Knicks or something, I forget. But I bet that’ll come up at some point tonight.