Unlike previous seasons, the Tulsa 66ers haven’t benefitted from multiple assignments from the Oklahoma City Thunder during this campaign. Former 66ers Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are making a big impact for the Thunder after spending time in Tulsa last season, again proving the point that Oklahoma City is benefitting greatly from its affiliate up the Turner Turnpike.
Tulsa’s lone assignee to this point has been Andre Roberson, who spent three games with the 66ers in December before being recalled to Oklahoma City. In those three games (all starts) with Tulsa, Roberson averaged 17.3 points while shooting over 56 percent from the field. He also averaged 11.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 3.3 steals in 35.0 minutes per game.
Once he was recalled, the Thunder wasted little time acclimating Roberson back into the fold. The first-round draft pick out of Colorado posted 25 points in a Tulsa loss at Texas on December 8, then drew a starting assignment for the Thunder at Atlanta on December 10.
As of January 3, Roberson has started four games for the Thunder and appeared in 13 contests, averaging 1.7 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Just before he was recalled to Oklahoma City, I had the chance to talk to Roberson about what he accomplished during his time in Tulsa.
Kevin Henry: What was your thought when you heard the Thunder was sending you to Tulsa?
Roberson: I knew I would be here a few games, so I wanted to develop my game and do whatever I could to get better. It’s a good group of guys and coaches in Tulsa and I wanted to work with them and get better. It’s an opportunity for me to not sit on the bench and get some reps and playing time. I don’t want to get rusty, so this was a good opportunity for me. I get their feedback, listen to it, and then try to improve my game.
Henry: So what were you working on while you were in Tulsa?
Roberson: Attacking the basket and getting to the rim. I wanted to work on an explosive first step to the basket and then closing out on defense. I always want to be in the right position and be able to use my stick hand to close out on defense.
Henry: Do you feel like your time in Tulsa made a difference?
Roberson: Absolutely. I feel like I improved a lot. Working with the coaches here and knowing they have the same system and philosophy as Oklahoma City makes a difference.