Since LeBron James went down with his ankle injury in March, Dennis Schröder has stepped up as a scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s also taken on more responsibility as a playmaker, but he’s had less success in that area.
While Schröder has averaged a team-high 7.9 assists per game since James’ injury, he’s also turned the ball over 2.9 times per game. That’s less than the 3.7 turnovers per game James was averaging before his injury, but it’s still a lot, especially when his teammates are turning the ball over at an equally high rate.
Schröder talked about his turnover struggles after the Lakers’ 114-103 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday, as well as steps he’s taken to get better, which has included him seeking advice from Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd.
“I think I’ve got to take care of the ball,” Schröder said. “I’ve been careless, I’ve said that before. I just try to make the right play and be careful. I’m still aggressive looking for my teammates, but just in a different way.
“You know I’ve been talking to JKidd a lot so he’s helping me with it as well. Just being aggressive and trying to attack the rim and then trying to look for my teammates. I think it opens up for me late in the game as well like it did today if I set up my teammates early, and then I was a little aggressive in the fourth quarter.”
Kidd joined the Lakers as an assistant coach in 2019 and his hiring was so polarizing that a small group of fans staged a protest outside of Staples Center. But in the two years that have passed, Kidd’s kept a relatively low profile and served as a mentor to the Lakers’ point guards, including Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook and now Schröder.
“He’s one of the best who ever played this position,” Schröder said. “I’ve been talking to him. I told him to talk even more to me and be the guy who is coming up to me and saying ‘Dennis look for this,’ or ‘Dennis look for that,’ or ‘Dennis be more aggressive,’ or ‘look for your teammates.’
“He knows. He did it for a long time in the best league in the world, and now as a coach. I for sure take that every single day and try to learn from him, and try to get better and help my team win.”
Schröder is a vastly different player than Kidd was, but if he can learn a thing or two from Kidd about being a floor general, that would benefit the Lakers in the short-term and even when LeBron James resumes his role as the team’s de facto point guard.