The Los Angeles Lakers were dealt a blow late last week when they found out they would be without starting point guard Dennis Schroder.
Just an hour before their game against the Brooklyn Nets, Schroder was ruled out due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. It came as a surprise to everyone in the organization, especially head coach Frank Vogel who was looking forward to Schroder’s matchup with Nets star Kyrie Irving.
Vogel had said he unsure when Schroder would be able to return to the lineup, but now the Lakers have some clarity on the matter.
“The only thing I can tell you is health and safety protocols, and we do have a more firm timeline that it will be a minimum of the next three games; tonight’s game and the next two,” Vogel said before a loss to the Miami Heat. “We’ll see after that.”
There were additional reports that Schroder has been undergoing contact tracing and has tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19). If Schroder continues to turn in negative tests, he should be able to play Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Getting Schroder back would be huge for Los Angeles, as they sorely missed him against Brooklyn. His presence gives the Lakers a key defender at the point of attack to handle the likes of Irving and James Harden, and Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
The Lakers also have lacked the kind of scoring and dribble penetration that Schroder provides on a nightly basis.
In the meantime, Vogel will have to rely even more on LeBron James to keep the Lakers afloat until Schroder returns to relieve some of the playmaking duties. They have enough talent to get by, but it remains to be seen who will actually step up.
Vogel looking for Lakers as a whole to make plays
With both Schroder and Anthony Davis out, James’ usage will likely skyrocket. However, Vogel expects the rest of the team to respond and take on some of the slack. “We’re a team-first team,” Vogel explained.
“Obviously ‘Bron handles the bulk of the playmaking with whoever is out there, but we have plenty of action and sets to get our guys in to create offense, and everybody is empowered a little bit more when you have somebody like Anthony and Dennis out.”
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