OKLAHOMA CITY — Perhaps Andre Roberson will see game action this preseason, but not tonight when the Thunder meet Dallas at 7 p.m. inside Tulsa’s BOK Center.
Roberson, who hasn’t played in an actual game against another team since suffering a ruptured patellar tendon to his left leg on Jan. 27, 2018, at Detroit, did not play in the Thunder’s Blue and White Scrimmage on Sunday, either.
“For Andre, missing a year and a half of basketball, and now him being thrust into the intensity of training camp … we just want to make sure we’re managing him the correct way,” OKC coach Billy Donovan said.
Donovan added that Roberson had been a full or near-full participant in four straight practices prior to the Blue-White and participated in morning drills prior to the Blue-White tip at noon Sunday and also practiced Monday.
• Telling statistic: The Thunder have talked about ball movement quite a bit this preseason. They’ve done it without indicting last season, yet the clear implication is their halfcourt offense should be better.
One reason why it might have to be is OKC ranked fifth in the league last season in fast break points (18.2) and may struggle to hit that number this season given the departures of Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
It’s also clear the Thunder could be a lot better in the half court. Even ranking fifth in fast break points last season, OKC was nonetheless seventh in total points scored (114.5) per game and just 16th in offensive rating (109.8), which measures points per 100 possessions.
• Success equals success?: Last season, the Thunder, even without Westbrook on the court, went 3-1 in the preseason.
However, that didn’t seem to mean much when they opened the season with four straight losses to Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento and Boston.
• Around the corner: Following tonight, the Thunder are home for a 7 p.m. Thursday tip, playing host to the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s National Basketball League.
Based in Auckland, the Breakers are the only non-Australian team in the National Basketball League.
After that, OKC meets the Mavericks again, this time in Dallas on Oct. 14. Two days later, the Thunder close out the preseason back home against Memphis.
The Thunder tip off the regular season at 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Utah