One of the unheralded players on a team packed with current and former All-Stars will miss the rest of the 2017-18 NBA season.
Oklahoma City Thunder wing Andre Roberson was taken off the floor on Saturday night during a game against the Detroit Pistons. Roberson appeared to slip during a play late in the third quarter, sending him airborne before landing awkwardly on his tailbone.
It was reported late on Saturday night that Roberson had likely torn his patellar tendon in his left knee. On Sunday morning, the Thunder formally announced that Roberson had in fact injured his knee, and that he would undergo season-ending surgery.
This is an unfortunate turn of events for the Thunder, who struggled out of the gate to start the season with new additions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The team has recovered, and both George and Roberson have been vital parts of the squad with 5th-best defensive rating in the NBA.
As Kurt pointed out yesterday, Oklahoma City’s on/off numbers with Roberson tell the tale of his importance. OKC’s defense is 11.9 points per 100 possessions better with Roberson on the court than off.
The Thunder are going to need to regroup — especially as the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches — to see what they can do to bolster their spot in the conference. Oklahoma City currently sits in the No. 5 spot out west.