The Los Angeles Lakers were sluggish to start against the L.A. Clippers in a 116-109 loss on Opening Night. Despite that, however, there were some positives to take away, such as the debut of Dennis Schroder.
Schroder put up a near triple-double, finishing with 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Throughout the game he showed off his ability to slash to the rim and command the paint as a guard on both ends of the floor.
In essence, Schroder showed the Lakers everything they were missing during the regular season last year. Even with the encouraging start to his Lakers career, Schroder noted there is work being down to become fully familiar and comfortable with new teammates.
“We’re still trying to find ourselves and learn each other. Me and Anthony Davis, LeBron, we’re just trying to get on the same page,” Schroder said.
“We’ve had 10 days together, and I think four or five practices, so we’re just trying to find ourselves. I just tried to click right in, try to get my teammates involved, play defense and my game.”
He was particularly critical of the game’s opening quarter, when the Lakers came out completely flat on both ends of the floor en route to a 39-19 deficit. “That’s a no-go. I think we’ve got to be better, watch film and get better. That wasn’t good and that’s not how we want to play,” Schroder said.
Given the extremely shortened offseason and training camp, it likely will take some time for the Lakers new additions to mesh with the returning players, especially James and Davis. Although, individually, Schroder and Montrezl Harrell had excellent Lakers debuts.
The Lakers now have a couple days off before their next battle on Christmas Day against the Dallas Mavericks. A better start in the first quarter would be an ideal way for L.A. to build some confidence and rhythm in what will be one of many high profile games this season.
Davis looking forward to learning Schroder’s game
Davis shared similar sentiments to Schroder when asked about his Lakers debut. While he showed off his great skillset, there will still be a learning curve.
“Dennis pushed the pace. He wants to run,” Davis said. “He said after the game, ‘Man, we’ve got to run more. I want to run.’ With him being able to get to the paint, bringing that to our team and defensively picking up 94 feet.
“I think we did alright. He made some great plays, I think he ran the pick and roll pretty well. There were some plays that were my fault, some plays that were his, that we’re going to talk about and try to figure out.
“It takes time when you’re playing with a new guy. I’m trying to learn him, he’s trying to learn me, he’s trying to figure out where I like the ball, I’m trying to figure out what he likes to do off pick and rolls.”
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