In the middle of the third quarter Saturday night, Andre Roberson cut from his spot on the baseline toward the rim to finish an alley-oop, a play they run a lot.
But as he took off, he slipped, then collapsed to the ground with a knee injury. He had to be taken off the court on a stretcher.
Reports are that he is done for the season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee.
This is a bigger blow to the Thunder than people may realize.
The Thunder have been looking for the fifth person to close games (besides Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams) and despite his offensive limitations Roberson was the best fit. The reason is he was a long, switchable, quality defender who could share a big load on that end with George. When Roberson is on the court this season, the Thunder defense is elite and 11.9 points per 100 possessions better than when he sits.
The Thunder may try to be active on the trade market to get help, but they are already into the luxury tax and it will be hard to add more salary.