Lakers Offseason 2020
Photo Credit: NBA

Lakers Offseason 2020: Will the Lakers Start Dennis Schroder?

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The Lakers have had a fantastic offseason, making them the favorite to win the NBA Finals once again this upcoming season. A significant reason for that is because they signed the runner up for sixth man of the year, Dennis Schroder, who many expect to be the Lakers sixth man to replace Rajon Rondo’s role.

 

Lakers offseason
Photo Credit: ClutchPoints

Even though many people expect a different lineup, Schroder himself said that he intends to start at point guard next season. Will this actually happen? If it does happen, how much will that impact the Lakers lineup and style of play?

In this article, I will analyze the Lakers starting Schroder’s possibility and what adjustments they would have to make if they decided to start him.

 

 

If Schroder starts at point guard the rest of the Lakers starting lineup will most likely consist of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard, LeBron James at small forward, Anthony Davis at power forward, and Marc Gasol at the center. This lineup is debatable, to say the least, because there’s a common saying, don’t fix what’s not broke.

 

Lakers Offseason 2020
Photo Credit: NBA

If they had their lineup consist of James at point guard, Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard, Matthews at small forward, Davis at power forward, and Gasol at the center, it would be a similar lineup to last years title winning team. Matthews is a very similar player to Danny Green and Gasol can fill the center position and be more productive than Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee were.

So, the first notable thing about the lineup is that James would no longer be at the point guard. He led the league in assists last year, averaging a career-high 10.2 per game. He also averaged 25.3 points per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the floor. Since he was so successful as the point guard and is so great being the man to run the court, it’s difficult to see why the Lakers would start Schroder.

Adjustments are necessary for the NBA, but Schroder would fit well off the bench while taking Rondo’s role, being a ball handler when James is off the floor. His minutes could be organized to play with James for many parts of the game but come in when James leaves the floor. Besides being a productive scorer, there’s just no convincing reasoning behind starting Schroder at point guard, especially because he has already come off the bench with the Oklahoma City Thunder and was so good at it. 

 

So, let’s say the Lakers do start Schroder at point guard.

 

Lakers offseason
Photo Credit: Lakers Daily

That would mean that James could still take the ball up the court or get his production in because the Lakers will pass him the ball. Having both on the floor would significantly increase their offensive production since Schroder can create his own shot and shot 38.5 percent from three the last season.

If James got double-teamed or had a bad game, he would be more than safe giving the ball to Davis and Schroder. The big question about this is if it’s worth what would be lost from the bench? 

The Lakers bench has many options, but if Schroder started at point guard, there would not be anybody to run the point when James leaves the court. James played a lot of minutes in the playoffs, so it’s a possibility, but even then, it does not seem to be worth the loss of the bench. James and Davis are both dominant on both ends of the floor, and Caldwell-Pope shot 38.5 percent from three last year. Since James would have the ball most of the time anyway, Schroder would spend many minutes of the game just playing defense or scoring the occasional bucket.

Meanwhile, on the bench, he is the perfect man to lead the offense. Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso are not known for ball handling and passer vision. Caruso did play backup point guard in the playoffs at times, but it was Rondo who saved them with productive games. Schroder is better than Rondo at scoring and has great passing ability as well. As previously noted, Schroder can create his own shot. That would be way more useful off the bench if players like Kuzma and Caruso are struggling than it would be with James and Davis.

 

Since the starting lineup for the Lakers is already stacked and does not need a ball-handler, there’s no reason to start Schroder. Either way, there’s no denying the Lakers have one of the best if not the best lineup in the league no matter what choice Frank Vogel makes.

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-Kyle Randolph – Franchise Sports Media

@KyleRandolphFSM

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Lakers Offseason 2020: Will the Lakers Start Dennis Schroder?