The Los Angeles Lakers have little time to gel before the playoffs due to the mid-season injury wave that hit the reigning NBA champions earlier this year.
Anthony Davis has been shrugging off rust since returning in the back-to-back outings against the Dallas Mavericks. L.A. has lost three out of the four games since the All-Star forward came back from his Achilles injury. LeBron James remains sidelined after he sprained his ankle on March 20. Meanwhile, the Lakers have just 10 regular games left to play this season.
But Dennis Schroder thinks L.A. will become a force again with the two All-Stars back on the court. To achieve that, the German playmaker focuses on speeding up his pick-and-roll play with Davis while the four-time NBA champion finishes his rehab. “He got to find his rhythm still. Me and him got to get on the same page,” Schroder said.
“We just got to play faster. I think that’s the hardest to guard. When I’m coming off pick-and-roll or drags, we’re coming off fast and he rolls fast.” He added: “If it’s just slow … we’re not creating open shots and open pocket for him or me being aggressive pull-up or layup.”
Schroder said he’s already talked with Davis about ways to improve their pick-and-roll game which, he claims, has proven to be a lethal weapon if done with an appropriate pace. “We just talked about that and try to get better at that and try to come up with some pace,” he said. “Set the screen and then roll. Put pressure on the rim and then we’ll be just fine.
“We had a couple of possessions where we did that and it was either a foul or a bucket. … Even when Bron comes back and he gets out probably at the six-minute mark like always. When me and him are on the same court at the same time, we just got to come off and play with pace. Get stops, play with pace and we’ll be good.”
Frank Vogel expects Lakers to lock in before playoffs
The Lakers have virtually no chance to improve on their fifth place in the Western Conference. However, they can fall further behind with the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers lurking from the sixth and seventh spot respectively.
Head coach Frank Vogel said he expected his players to put in extra effort and finish the regular season on a high note. “We try to win every game, that’s the mindset going down the stretch,” Vogel added.
“Compete to win every time we touch the floor, continue to work on building the chemistry that’s gonna be necessary for us to win in the playoffs and that won’t be any different in these final 10 games.”
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