There’s only one way to describe Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder’s play against the Warriors on Saturday: “That’s tough.”
Schroder had a game-high 26 points on 7-for-12 shooting, his second consecutive game with over 20 points and the eighth time this season. He had timely baskets near the end of the game and key free throws to ice the win.
The guard often plays his best basketball when LeBron James or Anthony Davis are out of the lineup. His usage rate increases noticeably with more shot attempts and he manages to stay efficient.
Consistency has been a problem for Schroder this season though, but Darvin Ham loves to use Schroder to open and close games. Ham explained what Schroder brings to those lineups, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“His fearlessness. He’s fearless. He’s not afraid to go make a play. He’s not afraid to take a shot. He’s not afraid to go attack the rim, even though he may get knocked down. Take the toughest matchup defensively on the perimeter. The kid is just fearless. Those type of guys you can’t have enough of. And it’s the reason why I love him, it’s the reason why I keep him in the mix as much as I possibly can because I know he’s going to make a play for us on both sides of the ball. He’s another one. He’s a two-way player.”
Schroder’s ability as a creator on offense and ball hawk on defense is something that makes him stand out as a player. But, it’s Schroder’s competitiveness that continues to impress. During his first stint in L.A., Rob Pelinka said the Lakers value the guard’s “competitive nature.”
Ham seems to favor the same too. He and Schroder have a strong relationship dating back to Ham’s time as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks.
Ham joined the Hawks staff during Schroder’s rookie season, falling in love with his tenacity. Schroder and Ham stayed close after his departure from Atlanta. Schroder even lent his car to Ham’s son for prom. Whenever Ham was hired as Lakers head coach, Schroder made sure to tell him that he wants to be his point guard.
So far, Schroder has had a strong second stint with the purple and gold.
D’Angelo Russell focused on fitting next to Anthony Davis and LeBron
The former No. 2 draft pick of the Lakers made his return to the purple and gold on Saturday. D’Angelo Russell finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in a Lakers win.
Russell is still looking to find his on-court chemistry alongside other Lakers, specifically Anthony Davis. The big man told reporters he and Russell were in constant communication during the game. Russell is focused on figuring out his fit next to Davis and LeBron James once he returns.
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