Season Review: Dennis Schröder

Lucas Armstrong/Atlanta Hawks

Note:  We use stats per 36 minutes instead of stats per game on the graphics.  The reason behind that is stats per 36 tell a more complete story of how a player did while he was on the court, as opposed to per game stats which averages a player’s stats based on the number of games that player appeared in, regardless of how many minutes he played.  The per 36 minutes compares all players equally by taking the minutes played out of the equation to measure the most effective players during their time on the court.

After putting on a dazzling performance in Summer League last season, there were high hopes for Hawks first round draft pick Dennis Schröder this season. With Shelvin Mack emerging as the backup point guard early in the season Schröder’s minutes were sparse, but over the course of the year he showed a lot of development.

In 49 appearances this season, Schröder averaged 3.7 points, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game. He scored 10 points twice -- against the Lakers and Thunder -- and as the season wore on, appeared to get more comfortable with the Hawks offense and the tempo of the NBA game.

Early in the season, he looked to be moving too fast and getting out of control at times. As the season progressed, his tempo got much better. He used his speed to his advantage by being shifty and accelerating past defenders rather than trying to play at top speed all the time.

Schröder was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam -- the Hawks D-League affiliate for 2013-14 -- for six games, and in those games he was terrific. He averaged 17 points, 6.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 0.8 steals in 34 minutes per game as he put his full array of talents on display.

His offensive game is still a work in progress, but the potential is clear, particularly in the pick-and-roll. His court vision is superb, as he is quite adept at picking out the right pass anywhere on the court even at just 20 years old. His speed allows him to get into the paint, and he’s continuing to improve at his finishing with layups and adding a floater to his arsenal. His jump shot is inconsistent, but he’s showed the ability, when set, to knock down the perimeter shot.

Defense is where Schröder can really make his presence felt. His length and hand size are exceptional for a point guard, and this makes him a terror as an on-ball defender. His footwork is impeccable, allowing him to stay in front of guards on dribble drives, and he is very good at getting around screens -- sometimes too well when the big hedges high, leaving the roll-man wide open. As he got more comfortable with the Hawks’ coverages and rotations, he made strides to improve as an off-ball defender.

Schröder’s season was not quite what some expected coming out of Summer League, as he was made the third point guard because of Mack’s terrific play. However, he showed growth, which is ultimately what you hope to see from a 20-year-old prospect, and with another offseason to continue to build his skills and strength, the future is bright for the young German. 

Story by Robby Kalland

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