The Lakers’ struggles have shown in numerous ways. As their star power forward, Anthony Davis, is sidelined with a calf injury, the team is forced to display new rotations in the lineup. After a four-game losing streak, the Lakers finally captured a victory Friday night against Portland. One of the biggest sparks for the team is Dennis Schröder, who scored 22 points in his return to the lineup.
Schröder’s absence was certainly felt in the Lakers’ rotation. His ability to initiate the offense with his shot-creating and playmaking has been a huge factor throughout the season. As Davis will continue to miss time, Schroeder is the piece that will complement LeBron James tremendously. It has been difficult for other players on the Lakers to score without LeBron setting them up. For Schroder to return as an offensive threat, it becomes a huge void that is filled within the Los Angeles roster.
Schröder this season is averaging 14.5 points on 44% shooting. The goal for him is to continue to provide toughness and a spark for his team. As the Lakers lost key guys from last year’s championship team, Schroeder is showing that he is a great addition to fill some of the voids. Throughout this season, he has continued to be a leader and a voice in the locker room, which was a huge reason for his sixth man-of-the-year candidacy in Oklahoma City.
In Friday night’s victory, Schröder showed to have control of the floor from start to finish. He was phenomenal in pick and roll situations and hit his teammates in their comfort spots. Scoring-wise, Schroder did a phenomenal job of getting into the teeth of the defense. As he possesses great body control and mobility, it was no problem taking advantage of a poor Portland defense. Schröder may have missed a few weeks due to safety protocols, but it didn’t show that in his performance against Portland.
There have been many situations this season where Schroder has continued to come big for the Lakers. For instance, making key defensive stops in the fourth quarter or making a key pass, his veteran experience allows him to understand when to make the right play and become a star in his role. It has been the little things that Schroder has done that have made him a fan favorite in Los Angeles. He shows to fit in tremendously with the Lakers’ roster.
At this point, nobody is aware of what the health of Anthony Davis will be in the next few weeks. The strained calf injury could potentially turn into a serious Achilles injury. The Lakers have no time to waste despite the loss of Davis. The west continues to become tougher and it will be difficult for the team to defend their crown.
Dennis Schröder is an important piece for the Lakers. He may not be as valuable as Anthony Davis, but he provides a spark when needed. If push comes to shove, Schroder will be the second option for the Lakers behind LeBron James.