What Dennis Schroder And Thomas Bryant Bring To The Lakers
The 3-10 Los Angeles Lakers will be getting much-needed reinforcements ahead of their contest Friday against the Detroit Pistons. Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant are set to make their season debuts.
Schroder and Bryant practiced Wednesday, and Anthony Davis said they looked “unbelievable.”
It won’t be Schroder or Bryant’s first time suiting up in the purple and gold, as it is the second stint in a Laker uniform for them.
Schroder played for LA in the 2020-21 season, averaging 15.4 points and 5.8 assists while shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from three. He was the starting point guard and played well on both ends of the floor.
Schroder had a great showing in the FIBA EuroBasket this summer and could now play a prominent role in the Lakers rotation.
With Russell Westbrook as the 6th man, the starting guards for Los Angeles have been Patrick Beverley and Lonnie Walker IV. Walker IV has played at a high level, but Beverley has struggled offensively. The 34-year-old is averaging 4.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, three assists, and 1.1 steals per contest. He has shot inefficiently at 27.8 percent and 23.5 percent from three.
Schroder’s game is way better offensively, which could earn him the starting nod and help the Lakers' offense, which ranks last in offensive rating in the NBA.
Bryant will also be a vital piece, adding additional depth in the middle. Last season, he played in 27 games, returning from an ACL injury he suffered in 2020.
Los Angeles is hoping that Bryant will play at the level he did in the 2020 season before suffering his injury, where he averaged 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks while shooting an efficient 58.1 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from three-point country.
A starting role for Bryant would allow Anthony Davis to play his preferred power forward position.
Davis talked about the effectiveness of having JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard at the center position in 2020. In an interview with Spectrum Sportsnet, Davis said, “In ’19-20, I was a roamer where I can be on whoever the 4 is and roam around and help protect everyone. It’s tough for me to do that when I’m guarding the 5.”
Davis could still close games for the Lakers at center if Bryant starts. However, Bryant could come off the bench. Thus far, Los Angeles has utilized Wenyen Gabriel as the small ball center off the bench and Damian Jones as the more traditional center.
The Lakers have a favorable matchup on Friday against the Pistons, who sit at 3-12.
It will be interesting to see how head coach Darvin Ham adjusts his rotation and utilizes Schroder and Bryant as they are ready to go.