Dennis Schroder Thinks He Can Be More Aggressive For Lakers Against Warriors With Achilles Feeling Better
Dennis Schroder, Stephen Curry, Lakers, Warriors
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout these playoffs so far, the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten contributions from numerous different role players to help them pick up victories. In Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, it was Dennis Schroder who played a crucial role in their win.

Schroder finished with 19 points as the Lakers stole Game 1 on the road against the Warriors 117-112. Just as important as his offense was his defense as he was tasked with defending Warriors star Stephen Curry for much of the night as well, along with Jarred Vanderbilt.

And while Schroder was happy with their defensive effort overall, he does believe the Lakers still must be better at defending Curry and the rest of the Warriors from deep.

“I mean they still I think took 40, 50 threes,” Schroder said after the Lakers’ victory. “Our game plan was to get them off the 3-point line. We highly contested them so that was good, but in the first half they had 12 threes already so we got to be better there. But I’m glad we won this game. JV did a great job, we just try to make it as hard as possible for him. He’s the greatest shooter of all-time and we just try to be urgent there.”

There is only so much you can do when defending Curry and Klay Thompson, arguably the two best shooters ever, not to mention Jordan Poole who can also get scorching hot at any moment. That trio hit six 3-pointers apiece, which is something most teams would be unable to overcome.

One reason the Lakers did was their aggression in attacking the paint and Schroder was a driving force of that as well, getting to the free throw line a game-high 10 times. He noted that his increased aggression was due in part to getting over the Achilles issue that plagued him at the end of the year.

“First series, my Achilles was still bothering me,” Schroder admitted. “End of the day I gotta be aggressive to help Bron and AD if I’m on the floor. Of course defensively I try to be aggressive and try to make it as hard as possible. Offensively I got to push the pace a little bit more and be aggressive. I found some opportunities in the first half.”

Getting Schroder back to playing how he was down the stretch of the season is just another weapon in the versatile arsenal the Lakers possess.

Jarred Vanderbilt enjoys the challenge of guarding players like Stephen Curry

Schroder is one of two players who will spend the most time defending Curry with Vanderbilt being the other primary defender. That should come as no surprise as it is Vanderbilt’s role on this team and one which he embraces.

“I want those type of assignments,” Vanderbilt said when asked about defending Curry. “I feel like that’s how I can impact this team and bring value to this team.”

Successful teams need players who accept and thrive in their role and Vanderbilt is exactly that. “Like I said I think that’s my calling on this team so I like those matchups, those challenges, and that’s what I’m here for to do.”

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