Hawks Player Season Recap: Dennis Schroder

Dennis Schroder and Mike Budenholzer (Source: zimbio.com)

Just like Coach Bud, it appears Dennis Schroder is quitting on the Hawks. 

All things considered, Dennis Schroder had a decent season. While falling short of what I personally expected coming into the season, he managed to lead the Hawks with a 19.4 PPG average. In my end of season team grades article, Dennis was given a C+.

“Depending on who you ask, Dennis either had a good or bad season. For me, Dennis left me feeling a need for more. He didn’t have a “bad” season per say but with this roster you would have expected a bit more scoring. His shooting from beyond the 3-point line was awful and he looked disinterested at times running the offense. We haven’t even mentioned his defense which was among the worst in the league. With Schlenk showing that anyone is dispensable (even the coach), it is unclear whether or not Dennis will actually be our Point Guard of the future.”

The season was full of high and low points for the 2nd year starter. On the eve of preseason game one, Schroder was involved in a bar fight near Atlanta in which one person was left hospitalized. His actions were condemned by GM Travis Schlenk and he is facing the possibility of Felony charges on top of team and possibly league suspension. This was probably the absolute worst way to introduce yourself as the undisputed best player on the team.

As for on the court, Dennis routinely disappointed on the defensive end. According to ESPN’s RPM (real plus minus) metric, Schroder was 506th out of 521 players defensively in the NBA. His defensive struggles were also notarized by NBA Math’s metrics.

Schroder stands out as easily being the worst defensive player on the team. Probably the most frustrating thing about his defense is that half of it seemed to be pure lack of effort. When Dennis put his mind to it, he was serviceable as a defender and it could easily be noted by simply watching.

Despite Schroder’s defensive flaws, he had a decent year on offensively. Outside of 3 point shooting. For a good stretch of the season he was on track to become the first Hawk since Joe Johnson to average 20 PPG. As it became apparent how bad the team was, his minutes were reduced however.

Dennis was able to show that he had the clutch factor, taking over down the stretch in several games.

Late in December, Schroder exploded for 33 points including 27 in the second half to propel the Hawks to victory. He showed a complete game, driving to the hoop, hitting the midrange and even hit four threes. Another source of frustration however is that it was in front of Migos star Quavo, who told him “get 30 tonight”. It shouldn’t take a star being in attendance to wake Dennis up. Night’s like this made Hawks fans salivate for more on more occasions.

The greatest game of his career came in March in Utah. He propelled the Hawks to an improbable road victory against the playoff bound Jazz.

Schroder’s season was cut around 3 weeks short with an ankle injury. If the Hawks were playoff bound, I’m sure he would have been able to continue playing but being lottery bound, it was best to get the young guys some more touches.

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A Look Ahead

It appears Dennis Schroder has played his last game in an Atlanta Hawks uniform. From the legal issues, team chemistry issues caused by him, new coaching and Travis Schlenk not exactly vouching for him, I would personally be shocked if Dennis was the starting Point Guard in October.

Earlier this week, an interview surfaced where Dennis spoke on a wide range of subjects including his career. He was quoted saying “I can’t be 2nd to last in the East” and that “I could see myself playing for the Pacers or Bucks”. He also cleared his Instagram account of all things Hawks which he later blew off as “I was following too many people”. When 92.9 The Game asked GM Travis Schlenk to comment on this he responded with “no comment”. They will be meeting soon to discuss things and it is expected that Schroder will request a trade if that meeting doesn’t go well.

These kind of comments would raise the eyebrows coming from any NBA Superstar. But coming from a 2 year bottom tier starter, they come off as cocky and unacceptable.

This did not go unnoticed by Hawks F Taurean Prince. While this is pure speculation it appears that these tweets were related to the incident.

Unfortunately, the market for Schroder will probably be luke-warm at best. Not many teams need a Point Guard to begin with. But little to none will want an ineffective one who can’t shoot and has a possible felony hanging over his head.

Regardless, Hawks fans will welcome Dennis back with open arms if the two sides decide to work things out. At the end of the day, the German guard is only 24 years old and has a lot of room and potential to grow still.

Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil 

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