It’s been a strong start to the season for the Los Angeles Lakers. The team is off to an NBA-best 14-4 record and they only seem to be getting better. Though they’ve been playing at a high level, there are still some kinks to workout
One of the most exciting moves the Lakers made in the offseason was to trade for Dennis Schroder. Last season’s Sixth Man of the Year runner-up has been elevated to a starting role in Los Angeles and has handled most of the point guard duties. While there have been flashes of excellence from the German, he hasn’t been perfect. Anthony Davis’ production is down compared to last year and part of that could be because Schroder isn’t distributing the ball at a high enough level.
Jared Dudley recently appeared on Inside the Green Room with former teammate Danny Green and issued a major challenge to Schroder while subtly putting him on blast.
“Hey listen, this is our style, you got to fit into it and for that, it’s been easy,” Dudley said of integrating the new players on the team. “I would say there have been bumps in the road which Schroder trying to find a balance of scoring to passing … Listen, if you’re a starter, your job is to get Anthony Davis going. LeBron [James] doesn’t need anyone’s help. Anthony Davis is the key.
“Defensively, you’ve gotta be our Avery Bradley-Esque pick up fullcourt, and he’s done that the last three to four games so he’s really the [Rajon] Rondo x-factor this year. It’s Dennis Schroder. We win a championship if Dennis Schroder plays at a high level. That’s my personal opinion. And you can say it’s pressure on him.”
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Schroder Should Pick Things Up
If we just look at the stats, Schroder appears to be having a down year. His 13.6 points a game are the lowest since the 2015-2016 season and he’s only shooting a tad under 30% from the 3-point line so far. It’s definitely taking him some time to get fully integrated.
Schroder does have a bit of a different role this year. He wasn’t a full-time starter during his two years in Oklahoma City but now he’s back to starting with the Lakers. Los Angeles also gave most of the point guard duties to LeBron last year so it’s a bit of an adjustment for them. Schroder is a really good player and also very competitive. He’s going to figure things out eventually. The Lakers have a great support system in place so the guard shouldn’t be feeling too much pressure just yet.
Davis Does Need to Get More Involved
The Lakers may be the best team in the NBA right now but the lack of Davis involvement is a major concern. He’s only averaging 21.8 points a game, which would be his lowest average since the 2013-2014 season. The superstar big man is simply too good to be scoring that much a game.
Unlike LeBron, it’s difficult for a big man like Davis to create his own offense. A lot of times, he’s going to need to rely on players like Schroder to get him the ball. It’s clear the team is still working out kinks and Davis is probably getting hurt the most by it. Los Angeles needs to figure out how to fix this issue. Once the playoffs get here, Davis is going to become much more important.