By Dionysis Aravantinos / email@example.com
Dennis Scrhöder at just 23-years of age is the best player of the German national team, leading his team along with Daniel Theis over France to the quarter-finals where they will face off against Spain in a very difficult and challenging game with perhaps the favorites of this competition.
Schroder knows that things are not going to be easy, but the Germans will compete. With him stating boldly that “sky is the limit” in this Eurobasket, he does what he must on the court in order to reach it.
EuroBasket 2017 – Skills, Weaknesses & Averages
The 23-year old Hawks‘ point guard has been great for Germany as the de facto leader. After all, he is the point guard and he has the ball on his hands for most of the time.
For coach Chris Fleming, Schröder has been the engine of this team. The way he can move the ball up the court, finish at the rim through contact with either hand, run the fast-breaks and occasionally knock-down deep three-pointers which have been crucial so far, for his national team, is what makes him really good. Overall the 6’1” point guard has been one of the top players in this EuroBasket and as he continues to improve on his game, he can also be more effective for the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA this season.
In the six games Germany has played so far, Schröder is averaging 23,2 points per game, the second best performance in the tournament behind Russia’s Alexey Shved, on 46.9% field goal percentage from the field. He is also handing out 5,2 assists per game and he gets to the free-throw line a lot (7.3 times per game), converting 90.9% of the time.
However, his defense is average at the moment and he turns the ball 4,2 times per game. That practically means that the gives 0,9 assist per game. On two occasions he had more than five turnovers, six against Italy and nine against Georgia. While his age can justify this performance, it’s obvious that he is not a real floor general yet.
After the game vs. France, coach Fleming addressed his star’s playmaking as well as his leadership skills. “He was poised,” said Fleming at the post-game press conference. “Going into the game he had a very good picture of what was going to happen. They were going to try to get the ball out of his hands with multiple defenders, try to push him to the left hand and make his life hard for 40 minutes and I thought that especially when he didn’t make shots early and there a couple of calls that he could have got that he didn’t get them. He kept his poise and gave our guys a belief that we would get this done. He didn’t settle for jump shots, he got to the [hoop], guys rotated, he dumped the ball off and I feel that this was his best game and the one where he showed the most maturity as a leader and as a playmaker.”
In that game Scrhöder had 22 points and 8 assists in the 33 minutes he played, while also making 11/11 free throws, In the first half, however, Shröder wasn’t really himself, something that almost cost Germany the win. He finished the game with 5/15 field goals.
Spain will definitely be a very tough challenge for Schröder and Germany. Even if they can’s make it to the semis, this EuroBasket will be a success for Germany, as they have already reached their initial goal.
And the fact is that Schröder already has a leader’s mentality and he is not afraid to step-up in tough situations when the clock is an issue. But he needs to learn how to bring out the better the best out of his teammates. At 23 years of age, he has great potential and he does not lack the confidence. On the contrary being the top dog in his national team helps him even more.
Dennis Schröder is the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks and coach Budenholzer who traveled to Tel Aviv and had the chance to see him play live liked what he saw on the court.
In his last season with the Hawks, Schröder averaged 31.5 minutes per game, while scoring 17.9 points and handing out 6.3 assists. His numbers were impressive and this trend continues in the Eurobasket. The jump in his numbers, with maybe the exception of scoring, is not that impressive. What seems to be different is the way he approaches the game. He has matured over the summer, taken the role of a leader in Germany and is now ready to do that also in the Hawks’ team starting this fall.
He has had a steady improvement over the last years in the NBA, as in the 2015-2016 season he only averaged 11 points per game and last year he improved to almost 18 points per game.
The Atlanta Hawks are in a rebuilding process and Schröder will be one of their cornerstones. He still has work to do, but judging from his role in this Eurobasket, he has the confidence and the skills to lead. It’s a process, but he is definitely on the right path.
(Photo credit: FIBA.basketball)