The ever-competitive nature of the NBA means that any opportunity, big or small, has to be seized upon. Dennis Schröder is the latest example of this playing out in the last week for the Lakers.
After Patrick Beverley’s 3-game suspension from his altercation with DeAndre Ayton and the Suns, Beverley was forced out of the starting lineup, making way for Schröder to return to his previous role with the Lakers.
A 21-point performance against the Spurs on Saturday earmarked a strong spell as a starter in which Schröder averaged 12.7 points, 5.0 assists and shot 47.8% from the field and 44.4% from the 3-point line, all very drastic increases from PatBev’s rather disappointing season.
Now, with Beverley set to rejoin the team on Wednesday, Schröder offers direct competition to PatBev’s starting spot. Following practice on Tuesday, head coach Darvin Ham was asked about whether Beverley would return to his spot in the starting lineup against the Blazers.
Darvin Ham on who's going to start at PG between Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder: "We'll see."— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) November 29, 2022
There are many reasons to pick Dennis over PatBev, but one of the chief among them may be his familiarity playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Albeit in limited time this season, Schröder has a net rating of +9.2 alongside LeBron and AD in 46 minutes.
Comparatively, in 135 minutes together, PatBev, LeBron and AD have a net rating of -10.3. Regardless of whether Dennis is the solution, there is a very real problem with starting PatBev.
Fortunately, though, Schröder does appear to be the solution, or at least a stopgap one. The Lakers don’t have much in the way of wiggle room after a slow start and Schröder has more to offer.