‘The Menace’: New Lakers Guard Living Up to Old Nickname

Dennis Schroder, Lakers

Getty Dennis Schroder, Lakers

Occasionally, before he arrived in Los Angeles following a November trade to the Lakers, Dennis Schroder would be called, “The Menace.” But since arriving joining the Lakers, the name has really taken off—just about any time LeBron James refers to Schroder, he calls him, “Dennis the Menace.”

Last week, when the Lakers fell behind the Pelicans by 15 points, it was Schroder who snapped them out of their doldrums with three second-quarter steals, including a moment in the middle of the quarter in which he swallowed up the Pelicans’ Nickeil Alexander-Walker on consecutive possessions.

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Said James:

You saw that energy, man. Right now, without fans in Staples Center, which we miss so much, man, just having a defender like ‘Dennis the Menace’ did, being able to pick up full court and get like two or three consecutive steals or deflections, get us out on the break. He got us right back into the game. Big time on his part, man. He’s been doing that all year for us and it takes the opposing offense out of a lot of stuff that they want to do, either coming out of a timeout having a set play and being able to disrupt that with Dennis being on the ball. It just leads to a lot of energy for our ballclub.

There you go. Dennis the Menace it is.

Dennis Schroder Struggling With 3-Point Shot

While Schroder can have an impact on the defense when he flashes those kinds of bursts of intensity, his bigger impact comes on the offensive end, where his ability to break down the defense and attack the basket has come into sharp focus.

Schroder has struggled with this 3-point shot, making only 32.7% from the arc this season, down from the 38.5% he made while playing for Oklahoma City last year. But he is getting to the rim more with the Lakers—according to Basketball-Reference.com, Schroder is taking 27.1% of his shots from within three feet of the basket, up from 22.7% last year.

There is some hope that he will, eventually, pick up his percentages from the perimeter—he is a streaky shooter and could be in a slump now. He has made only 25.0% of his 3-pointers in his last nine games after making 43.5% in his first six games.

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Schroder-for-Danny Green, Pick Looks Like a Steal

Schroder continues to look like a big-time steal for the Lakers. To get him, they gave up Danny Green, who is 33 and averaging 9.7 points per game for Philadelphia. Green is making 38.0% of his 3-pointers but only 38.2% of his shots overall.

To get Schroder, the Lakers also gave up the No. 28 pick, which the Thunder used to pick Jaden McDaniels. He has seen only limited minutes this season.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that, while Schroder’s value as an offensive point guard has been valuable, the guy is most replacing on this team is Avery Bradley, whose job it was to pressure the ball.

“That’s sort of an identity piece with us,” Vogel said. “We started with Avery last year, having somebody that is going to pick up full-court, Alex (Caruso) would do it at time, KCP (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope). It is something that Dennis does well, does it instinctually. We’ve encouraged him to do it with this year’s team. When your defensive point guard is picking up full court, it sets the tone for the whole group.”

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