Dennis Schroder quickly found his place on the Los Angeles Lakers and became an important figure right from his debut. The 27-year-old playmaker did suffer a brief stretch of struggles on the recent seven-game road trip.
Schroder played and scored less, shooting a poor 28.6% from deep. However, the slump turned out to be short-lived as has been key to each of the Lakers’ past two victories that extended their winning streak to five games.
Schroder ended the night with 21 points and four assists, shooting 77.8% from the field and converting both of his 3-point attempts against the Detroit Pistons. He followed that up with 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds in an overtime win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
All the while Schorder has continued to play stellar defense that often entails picking up full court. “We definitely look for that kind of hustle,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said.
“Dennis fits into our identity of being a really hard-playing dude. When we have that kind of speed and intensity on the perimeter with guys like A.D. and LeBron, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
Schroder emerged as one of the Lakers leaders while Anthony Davis is mired in an inconsistent stretch and a game missed because of right Achilles tendonosis.
Vogel pointed to the guard’s grit and toughness as the reason he has been performing so well for L.A., adding that those qualities greatly helped the team record a strong start to the 2020-21 season.
“How hard he plays and the speed, toughness, and nastiness he plays the game with — particularly on the defensive end and attacking the basket offensively — it’s a big reason why we’re No. 1 in the league on defense and a big reason why we have one of the best records,” Vogel said.
Davis praised Schroder for the energy he brings to the team and said the playmaker has already pulled off numerous “big plays” for the Lakers. “He’s picking up 94 feet, he’s everywhere, his hands are on the ball, he’s finding the right guys on the offensive end,” he said.
“He’s doing everything for us.”
Davis welcomed Vogel’s criticism in victory over Nuggets
Vogel brought up Schroder’s hustle as an example of the response he expected from L.A. after they headed back to the locker room with a double-digit deficit to the Nuggets at halftime. Davis explained the coach asked for a change in body language and energy, particularly on the defensive end.
But the All-Star forward welcomed Vogel’s tough love thinking the criticism was justified. “He got after us, and it was right that he did that,” Davis said.
“It was well-deserved because we were playing sloppy and not with a lot of energy. A lot of guys — including myself — had bad body language and were frustrated about the game.”
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