Dennis Schroder joined the Los Angeles Lakers coming off arguably the best season of his young career. He finished second in the Sixth Man of the Year voting and led the league in scoring off the bench while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Schroder has made steady progress throughout his career ever since the Atlanta Hawks selected him with the No. 17th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. In his fifth season, he became a starter for the Hawks and notched his best scoring campaign the year later, averaging 19.4 points in addition to 6.2 assists per game in 2017-18.
But Schroder said the two seasons he spent in Oklahoma City helped him grow as both a player and a person. “I got older, I got a wife, kids. I just see it a little differently,” he said. “I was young when I was in Atlanta, but I think that experience helped.”
The 27-year-old added he learned a lot playing alongside Thunder stars such as Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Chris Paul. Schroder faced Paul during a 112-107 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Schroder emphasized Paul’s influence on his career both on and off the court. “Leadership, how he talks to teammates, what he brings to the table every game. He’s 35 years old but he took care of his body. He’s just a great guy and top five of all-time point guards,” he said.
“He’s up there. He’s a great person, his family is nice. I learned a lot from him,” Schroder added.
Schroder not worried about sprained ankle
Schroder scored seven points, adding three assists and four rebounds against the Suns. However, he finished the night early after tweaking his left ankle in the third quarter.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel did not want to speculate on Schroder’s availability for the team’s final preseason game on Friday. But the playmaker brimmed with optimism following the clash, saying the ankle felt “pretty good.”
“I got treatment on it already, iced it during the game, so I think it’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “We’ll see how it’s feeling in the morning, but I think it’s alright.”
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