How Will Dennis Schroder Perform As A Leader?



Dennis Schroder against Denver last season
In his fourth season, the 6’2 point guard from Germany, Dennis Schroder has a big task on his hands for the 2016-17 NBA season. With the departure of Al Horford and trading former All-Star Point guard Jeff Teague, Schroder will finally get this first chance to perform as a starter in the NBA. Schroder has the opportunity to showcase his talents as the starter for our Atlanta Hawks. 
  
 It’s a opportunity four years in the making, when the Hawks drafted Dennis Schroder with the 17th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, many Hawks fans knew this would be the guy running the show when the opportunity presented for Coach Mike Budenholzer. Since his rookie season, we saw the potential that Schroder possessed and as the years went along, he continued to take a step of progression in the Hawks system. 
Jeff Teague in the 2015 NBA Playoffs
Schroder never hid the fact he wanted to become the starting point guard of the Atlanta Hawks as soon as possible.  “My goal is to start as point guard. If this doesn’t happen, I will look for other opportunities,” Schroder said, and he proved last season that he wanted the opportunity here as soon as possible. After three seasons as Jeff Teague’s backup, the Hawks decided to give Dennis Schroder the opportunity he strived to accomplish as a starter on a NBA roster. 

Al Horford against Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Playoffs
The Atlanta Hawks also lost one of their leaders after nine stellar seasons in a Hawks uniform as Al Horford signed with the Boston Celtics. In the wake of Horford’s departure, here’s an opportunity for Dennis Schroder to take a leadership role on the current Hawks roster and keep the franchise as a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference for years to come in Atlanta. 

As the season begins in less than two months, Dennis Schroder should take this opportunity seriously and make an impact on the Hawks. During the off-season, the Hawks acquired a veteran that could help him progress as a starter in the league as Atlanta signed veteran point guard Jarrett Jack. Jack, the former Georgia Tech standout, has experience as a starter and a sixth man in the NBA so he could learn a lot from the veteran guard and would benefit him throughout his career. One of the unique things about Schroder is his involvement in the local communities as well, which is another way to have a major role in becoming a leader for the Hawks.

 

The Hawks have always lacked a vocal leader in the locker room and personally, I feel that Dennis could be the player we’ve needed to make an impact off the court as well. We need a guy that can provide the energy the Hawks desperately want so we can play at an elite level. After a great 2014-15 season, the Hawks as a whole didn’t have the same mindset or chemistry that earned them the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta didn’t have the talent and focus that we’ve seen in Coach Bud’s system in previous years and after being eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs for the second year in a row, it was time for the Hawks to shake up the roster a bit. If Schroder can become a impactful leader for the Hawks as the 2016-17 NBA season, the potential for the Hawks to be successful is unlimited and that could result in a nice run during the NBA Playoffs. GO HAWKS!!

 

 

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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