The Los Angeles Lakers managed to put an end to their losing streak with a much-needed 114-103 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night. Although it took a balanced effort from the roster to get the job done, it was the performance of Dennis Schroder that made it come to fruition.
Schroder was spectacular down the stretch after scoring 13 of the Lakers’ 21 points in the fourth quarter. More importantly, he showed notable improvement in his decision-making with 10 assists to just two turnovers.
Taking care of the ball had been a major issue for the Purple and Gold throughout the course of the season. Fortunately, it appears the presence of assistant coach Jason Kidd has finally paid some dividends.
Schroder has now registered 33 assists and 8 turnovers over the last three games. He credits the recent improvement to Kidd’s coaching.
“I got to take care of the ball. I’ve been careless, I’ve said that before, I just try to make the right play and now I’m a little careful. I’m still aggressive looking for my teammates but just in a different way. I’ve been talking to [Jason] Kidd a lot so he’s helping me with it as well and just being aggressive, try to attack the rim and just try to look for my teammates. I think it opens up for me late in the game for me as well like it did today. I set up my teammates early and then I was a little aggressive in the fourth quarter.”
Schroder added that Kidd’s status as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history makes him an ideal person to learn from.
“He’s one of the best who ever played at his position, point guard,” Schroder said. “So I’ve been talking to him, I told him to talk even more to me and be the guy who’s coming up to me and saying ‘Dennis, look for this or Dennis, look for that’ or to be more aggressive or look for your teammates. So he knows, he did it for a long time in the best league in the world and now as a coach. I for sure take that every single day, try to learn from him and try to get better and try to help my team win.”
It is encouraging to see that Schroder is taking full advantage of having a former player of Kidd’s pedigree in his corner. The recent discrepancy between assists and turnovers indicates that his teachings have finally started to click.
The timing could not be more ideal with the Lakers entering the final stretch of the regular season. They will need Schroder to be at the top of his game if they hope to defend their title as reigning champs
Schroder credits team effort for pace
The return of Anthony Davis to the lineup has certainly provided a much-needed boost to this roster in the absence of LeBron James. While the performance on offense continues to fluctuate without James, this has been alleviated by the uptick on defense.
Schroder feels their effort on the defensive end helps to set an ideal pace on offense.
“I think it was just a great team effort. I think everybody had a defense-first mindset. We got stops and AD got it going early, KCP, Kux, so we were just playing with pace. The second quarter we got a little bit away from it but overall the whole night, we were able to get stops and run and that’s what I try to do every time.”
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