The return of Anthony Davis was the biggest story for the Los Angeles Lakers, but there were plenty of other players to have excellent nights on Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks.
Arguably none was better on this night than point guard Dennis Schroder, who gave the Lakers a chance to win a game that looked as if it was going to be out of reach at one point.
Schroder finished with 25 points and 13 assists in the Lakers’ loss to the Mavericks. While he did have four turnovers as well, he more than made up for it with his performance, especially in the third quarter when he brought the Lakers back from a double-digit deficit.
His performance was not lost on head coach Frank Vogel, who believes it may have been the point guard’s best showing in the Purple and Gold. “This is arguably his best game as a Laker,” Vogel said following the contest.
“I think it was a good sign that he’s rising to the occasion on big games and hopefully that bodes well for us come playoff time. But he was spectacular for us with 25 and 13 with four turnovers, he guarded Luka a bunch of the night, it was a really great performance by Dennis.”
Schroder was outstanding on the night, getting to the rim at will while also finding Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell regularly. His playmaking has been questioned at times, but on this night he did a perfect job of balancing his own scoring with finding his teammates. He also his two of his three attempts from deep.
But Schroder’s competitive edge was on display after the contest as well. “If this is my best game of the season, I’m going out with a W. It wasn’t good enough,” the point guard added after the Lakers came up short against the Mavericks.
The Lakers were in the game late, but ultimately were unable to come out on top.
As Vogel pointed out, the fact that Schroder is stepping up in these big, national TV games could be a good sign for the Lakers once the playoffs begin. Schroder is no stranger to the postseason, making it in six of his seven NBA seasons to this point. Last season however, he shot just 40.4% from the field and 28.9% from 3-point range in seven playoff games with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But with Davis now back, and LeBron James on the way, having Schroder play at this level would make the Lakers a prohibitive favorite against basically anyone in the NBA.
Dennis Schroder, Andre Drummond building chemistry
Just as important for Schroder is that he is continuing to buil chemistry with the new teammates, and particularly Andre Drummond. The two have been relied upon extensively in the absence of Davis and James and Drummond believes they are figuring each other out.
“I think for me personally, I’ve spoken about it before trying to find chemistry with guys on the court and we’ve found something that has really worked for us,” Drummond said about his point guard.
“Dennis is a competitor. I’ve played against Dennis his whole career. I’ve gotten a chance to watch him and play against him and he’s always been that way his whole career and to be his teammate and see it firsthand, he’s an incredible player.”
Davis and James are obviously the two stars who will carry this team, but Schroder and Drummond playing at a high level raises the Lakers’ ceiling and relying on each other gives the Lakers another great option once the playoffs begin.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!