Dennis Schroder Thriving With the Hawks


Despite Jeff Teague having a firm hold on the starting gig, it isn’t stopping former 17th overall pick, Dennis Schroder ,from making waves in Atlanta as a reserve. Schroder just completed his sophomore season with the Hawks in what could be considered a legit “breakout season”.

Bleacher Report did a piece in 2014 comparing Schroder to star point guard Rajon Rondo which was quite the compliment given that Rondo is an NBA champion. When Schroder was asked about the comparison to the versatile NBA backcourt stand out, he had this to say;

"“In Germany, everybody compared me to him when I was growing up. Every time I was on the court people said, ‘You play like Rondo.’ Then I tried to look him up and then I saw it. I understood. I tried to compare myself to him.”"

Making His Own Mark

The 6’1″ 185 pound German born point guard made the most of his second season in the league. Schroder has seen a sharp increase in most categories across the board. During his rookie campaign, he played nearly 13 minutes per game. That changed last year when he saw a fairly significant increase in playing time.

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Schroder’s minutes jumped up to under 20 minues in 2015. Let’s look at how Schroder’s production improved over the course of his two seasons in the NBA, outlining the much improved numbers from last seasons totals, and the respective differentials that followed.


  • Pts: 10.0 (+6.3)
  • Ast: 4.1 (+2.2)
  • Fg%: 42.7 (+4.4)
  • 3pt%: 35.1 (+11.3)
  • Ft%: 82.7 (+15.3)

It can be inevitable that a players production will improve with increased playing time. However, that doesn’t always serve as a direct correlation to individual performance. The spike in percentages was the real evidence that Schroder is growing on the offensive end.

When looking at field goal %, three point % and free throw % collectively, Schroder really stepped it up. The 22 year old was +4% from the field, +11% from downtown, and +15% from the charity strip, in comparison to his rookie season in 2013-14 (38%, 23%, 67%).

Ball protection was an area where the second year guard stayed solid. Schroder’s minutes were a +6 this year and he still managed to keep his turnovers a shade below two (1.9). After posting a player efficiency rating of five in his rookie season, his PER reached 15.7 last year.

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Schroder also posted a usage rating of 27. This means he used 27% of the teams possessions in 19 minutes. In other words, Budenholzer leaned on Schroder a great deal, especially in the playoffs. It is ideal for a 6th man to be utilized when on the court, especially if they are producing like Schroder was.

The NBA’s potential future 6th man, posted double digit scoring coming off the bench last year. The value of a having a player that can provide an instant impact off the bench, who also happens to be a point guard, isn’t measurable. Let’s look at where Schroder did his damage in 2014-15:

Shooting Distance

  • Less than 5ft: 50%
  • 5-9ft: 39.6%
  • 10-14ft: 36.7%
  • 15-19ft: 38.5%
  • 20-24ft: 32%

General Range

  • Catch & shoot: 32.4%
  • Pull-up: 38.9%
  • Less than 10ft: 48.2%

Schroder Getting it Done off the Bench

When you take a look into how Schroder converted from these particular areas, you can see their is still room for improvement. The 2014-15 NBA Sixth Man, Lou Williams, played six more minutes a game, averaging only 5.5 more points per game. With a sixth man you ultimately want consistency but that doesn’t always happen because shooters can be streaky.

One thing is for sure, Schroder is making his mark off the bench in this league. Especially off the pick & roll, scoring 390 total points on the season which was also good for 17th in the NBA in that capacity. Sweet Lou scored 389 points off the roll and was also stellar in isolation situations and coming off screens. Schroder isn’t quite the sixth man Williams is just yet but he might be on his way.

Here are Dennis Schroder’s highlights from his sophomore season in 2015 with the Atlanta Hawks:

Thriving in the ATL

Dec 13, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo (5) and Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) dive after the loose ball during the second half at Amway Center. Orlando Magic defeated the Atlanta Hawks 100-99. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Budenholzer got the same production out of Schroder in the playoffs, compared to the regular season. That is good news for the Atlanta Hawks. The post season is the most important time for a player like Dennis Schroder to shine. Budenholzer will need his 6th man to be better in the post season if the Hawks want to raise a banner in Atlanta.

One of the things that we saw during the post season was Budenholzer pairing Teague and Schroder in the back court. Small ball is really working in the NBA, so much in fact,  particular guard lineups have helped teams win the last four NBA finals. The tandem of the two point guards sharing the Atlanta back court looked really good when the team needed a boost.

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  • Schroder gives Budenholzer two ways in which he can hurt teams. Being paired with Teague to keep things flowing, then subbing in for Teague and running the point. The speedy point guard gives the Hawks another dangerous weapon in both the pick & roll and in the pick & pop.

    Dennis Schroder still has work to do. His game is far from completely polished. Budenholzer could assign him minutes in the low twenties next year, assuring he will continue to provide double digit scoring out of the back court. Schroder is also an underrated passer and will surely look to utilize his playmaking skills. One thing is for certain. The coveted sixth man is an asset to any team playing.

    Could Dennis Schroder be the next NBA 6th man of the year? It is entirely possible.

    Next: Hawks Trade 1st Round Pick to Knicks