With starting point guard Patrick Beverley being suspended for three games, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham turned to Dennis Schroder to insert into the starting lineup. Schroder only recently returned to the team after recovering from a thumb injury, but his previous experience in playing next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis made the fit relatively solid.
Schroder finished with nine points and five assists in the Lakers’ 11-point win over the San Antonio Spurs, one of his better performances since returning. More important, however, is that Schroder is beginning to look more comfortable and that was noticeable to Ham.
Following the win, Ham spoke about Schroder, noting that while he still believes the point guard is finding his rhythm with these Lakers, he felt he looked more confident and made his impact on the game as a whole, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“He’s still trying to find a rhythm for sure. I thought tonight, he’s getting closer to looking like the Dennis we’re gonna see consistently. When I told him he was starting, I just told him do what you do, make em feel you defensively, keep us organized offensively, and be aggressive and he did that. Picking up 94 feet, taking time off their shot clock, turning their guards, making them uncomfortable a little bit, making it difficult for them to just easily roll into their sets. I thought he looked good, you could see the confidence and you could see his imprint on the game defensively.”
James agreed with Ham’s assessment that Schroder is still finding his rhythm and noted that he is trying to do the same himself after returning from his own injury. But LeBron noted that he and Schroder still having chemistry helps in finding that rhythm a little quicker, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“We still have chemistry from the first stint that he had a couple years ago. For myself and Dennis right now we’re just trying to get back into a rhythm. Obviously he had the injury, and I believe this is maybe his third or fourth game back from the injury. Still trying to find his rhythm and I was out two weeks, still trying to find my rhythm. But it’s always good to be out there with guys you’ve logged minutes with so it definitely helps.”
For his part, LeBron finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in his first game back from a strained adductor muscle. But his nine turnovers were proof of him still feeling things out.
But in terms of Schroder, the point guard brings a dimension to the Lakers that no one else does and the team is working to try and get him comfortable as fast as possible. He will still have a couple more games with the starters, and that is an ideal time for him to find his way with this Lakers team.
LeBron James felt good in return, ‘strong possibility’ he plays Saturday
There were positive and negatives in James’ first game back for the Lakers in two weeks and LeBron will undoubtedly work to fix those issues. Most important, however, is how LeBron felt and he noted that he felt good and like himself following the game.
With the Lakers also having a back-to-back there remains the opportunity that the Lakers could choose to rest James. But LeBron shot that notion down saying there’s a strong possibility he plays Saturday night, noting that he’s been sitting for two weeks so he’s fine.
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