The Thunder start two players (Andre Roberson and Steven Adams) who complement their big three (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka). Roberson and Adams are willing and able to do the little things necessary to support Oklahoma City’s stars.
Outscoring opponents by 21.5 points per 100 possessions, Westbrook-Roberson-Durant-Ibaka-Adams has been the most productive of the NBA’s 50 most-used lineups.
The Thunder just won’t be able to use that unit for a while.
Not only is Adams out a few games, Roberson is sidelined.
Andre Roberson will miss at least three weeks with a right knee sprain suffered in the first half of OKC’s Sunday night loss in Brooklyn, The Oklahoman has learned.
The injury occurred on a second quarter collision with Russell Westbrook, who crashed into Roberson’s right leg after flying in for a missed reverse layup, bending it backward.
An MRI on Monday confirmed the sprain, but didn’t reveal any structural damage that required surgery, a positive development considering the nature of the play.
The Thunder’s last game before the All-Star break is Feb. 11, two and a half weeks from now. So, it seems Roberson will be sidelined through the break. Oklahoma City’s schedule until then:
- at Knicks on Tuesday
- at Timberwolves on Wednesday
- vs. Rockets on Friday
- vs. Wizards on Feb. 1
- vs. Magic on Feb. 3
- at Warriors on Feb. 6
- at Suns on Feb. 8
- vs. Pelicans on Feb. 11
That’s a relatively easy stretch, though that matchup with Golden State looks even more daunting now. (It’s also good new for the Warriors, who were supposed to face a harder remaining schedule, in their pursuit of 72 wins.)
Nick Collison has started with Adams out. It’s unclear whom will start for Roberson. He has missed only one game this season, and Durant also missed it. Anthony Morrow and Kyle Singler started on the wing. Either could start now.
Oklahoma City has the depth to get through this, but it’s still less than ideal.