With the Los Angeles Lakers down their three leading scorers in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell, someone had to step up and lead them in their contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thankfully for Darvin Ham, that person was Dennis Schroder, who not only showed his skill level, but also his grit, toughness and determination.
Schroder shook off a nasty-looking ankle injury in the first quarter to score 22 of his 26 points in the second half in leading the Lakers to a six-point road win. While it was certainly a team effort, with many players stepping up in a big way, it was Schroder leading the charge.
But Ham was not surprised at the effort Schroder put forth. The Lakers head coach said that Schroder’s performance on Wednesday was reminiscent of what he did this summer while leading his native Germany during Eurobasket, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I think having a competitor like Dennis Schroder, those of us that are basketball fanatics and watch it in-season and offseason at all various levels. If anyone saw how he led his national team this summer, this performance tonight wouldn’t surprise them at all. He did a great job of being a leader out there. A guy with probably the most miles out of anybody in this league and he just, especially at halftime, he had a rough shooting first half, but he made the proper adjustments, picked it up defensively after twisting his ankle, and really led the entire group.”
It was truly a team effort with players like Austin Reaves, Troy Brown Jr. and Lonnie Walker IV all having big scoring nights. Even players such as Wenyen Gabriel and Max Christie, who have been in and out of the rotation, provided solid minutes. But someone has to take the reins and Schroder had no problems doing just that.
Ideally, Ham would be able to have some more consistency with the lineups and rotations and not have to constantly shuffle things around due to injury. But when he does, it is great for him and the Lakers to have players like Schroder who are willing and able to take things over when necessary.
Dennis Schroder ‘willing to do everything’ for the Lakers to make the playoffs
For Schroder, pushing through that ankle injury was not easy. But with the Lakers fighting for their playoff lives, he was willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure the win.
Speaking after the game, Schroder said he was willing to do ‘everything for the team’ in order to get in the postseason while adding that it is imperative for the entire squad to continue to be competitive and play together regardless of who is in or out of the lineup due to injury.
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