The Los Angeles Lakers are 2-3 in their last five games without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, although the last two have been wins. With Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma being asked to carry an entire offense, there have been some issues, as L.A. has averaged just 100.4 points per game.
Schroder hasn’t necessarily been the issue. In fact, he’s been playing some very good basketball without James to help him split ball-handling duties. He’s averaging 19.6 points, 6.8 assists and 2.1 steals per game, but is also turning the ball over 3.6 times over his last five games. Even with the turnovers, Schroder has been one of their best players while short-handed.
The point guard discussed the Lakers matchup against the Orlando Magic, a close and ugly win, saying they needed to adjust offensively to match Orlando’s defense.
“I think they’re a swarming team, you try to get into the paint and everybody is collapsing and we talked about it, make the right plays at the rim, try to find somebody on the weak side or on the top and I think in the first half I found my teammates but they didn’t go in like we wanted to,” Schroder said after the win.
“But I think we played the right way for 48 minutes and that’s the reason why we won the game. Even in the second half, we made the open shots and that’s the reason why we won.”
Both teams struggled to make shots, but the Lakers pulled away in the fourth with some clutch makes. Overall, Schroder is happy with how he’s played recently, putting his focus into running the offense at a high level. “Just trying to make the right plays, trying to make my teammates better, create open shots and get into the lane.
“Not a lot of turnovers, the last couple of games was too many turnovers on my side. I’ve got to take care of it, but at the end of the day I just try to be aggressive and try to make the right play. It’s been working, just got to keep going in the right direction and when everybody comes back healthy it’s gonna be a problem.”
Schroder’s solid play helped the Lakers pick up two huge wins in the absence of James and Davis. Their schedule only gets harder from here, so the Lakers need to do everything in their power to tread water. That starts with Schroder’s ability to make smart plays and limit his turnovers.
Andre Drummond debut unclear
Someone that could help the Lakers tread water a little better is Andre Drummond, who officially joined the team on Sunday night for the rest of the season. He brings an immediate dominant presence in the paint, but it’s unclear exactly when he’ll make his debut.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel did not want to make any promises when asked if he would play in his first game as a Laker on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
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