The Los Angeles Lakers have done incredible work defensively during their first-round series against the Phoenix Suns. Dennis Schroder, in particular, has done well limiting the Suns’ All-Star backcourt.
However, their problem — and the reason the series is tied at 2-2 — is the offense.
The Lakers’ offense has been horrendous through the first four games of the series. They are averaging 100.0 points per game, down from 109.5 during the regular season, and are shooting 43.0% from the field and 29.1% from three. With these numbers, it’s an even bigger testament to their defense that they have their two wins.
As the Lakers prepare for a Game 5 where they may not have Anthony Davis in the lineup, Schroder gave his thoughts as to how they can improve offensively. “I think it’s both. I think everybody understands how we’ve been playing, even when LeBron and AD were out during the season. I mean how we were moving the ball and how we were moving without the basketball, be in certain spots.
“Like unselfishness without the ball, if that makes sense. Make the cuts for somebody else to get open and I think that’s what we worked on today, we worked through a couple of plays and like I said, we’re gonna be ready tomorrow.”
The Lakers have not been as impressive in transition during this series as they were during the regular season, with the credit in part going to the Suns defense. That’s one of the major things, Schroder feels, that needs to be changed. “Playing fast, getting stops was No. 1 one the defensive end. Trying to get steals and trying to play fast,” he said.
“Phoenix did a better job or a great job last game holding us up and not able to play so many fastbreaks and get fastbreak points. We did work on that as well. We didn’t play great in Game 4, myself, I didn’t play great and we know what we have to do to get Game 5. Just go out there and give everything we gave. It’s 2-2 right now, it’s a great series and yeah, we just want to go out there and compete and win the game.”
Even without Davis in the lineup, the Lakers can put together the offensive sequences necessary to win the game. If they get out and run — while also knocking down open shots — LeBron James can lead a winning effort.
Defense has been this team’s calling card all season long, so they will rely on their defense to make life easier for them when it comes to scoring. Schroder will be one of the most important pieces in that equation.
Schroder praises Davis for passion despite injuries
Schroder was the Lakers’ biggest offseason acquisition, and yet he hasn’t had many chances to play alongside Davis. Even still, he appreciates the passion that his superstar teammate has for the game. “I mean, he wants to play like everybody in this locker room. He’s got a passion for this game, he wants to play, he wants to help us get a win.
“I’ve played with a couple of superstars and he really wants to be out there, he’s giving everything he has, his last percent and just trying to make it work for us. It means a lot for me, the organization, teammates, it means a lot. So it’s just great to see.”
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