Atlanta Hawks: Dennis Schroder Wraps Up EuroBasket 2015


Despite my initial assumption that Germany was likely eliminated from EuroBasket 2015 after a collapse against Italy, they came into Thursday’s game with a simple mission. If they beat Spain they would make the next round, if they lost they were done.

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Now, they knew that would be a tall order. Spain is the most talented team in the tournament and they had underperformed to this point. With so much experience and poise it was tough to imagine Spain losing in a win or go home situation. Still, this was a Spain team without Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio and Jose Calderon. Germany had a chance.

Germany stayed close for most of the first half. Spain held a 41-38 lead at halftime and Dennis Schroder played well, scoring 11 points with 2 assists. The third quarter was a different story. Spain’s experience started to show and they had opened up a 10 point lead with under 6 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

After a sensational Schroder assist to Paul Zipser, a Schroder pull-up three-pointer in transition and a Maodo Lo corner three Germany trimmed the lead to 6 with under 4 minutes to play. A Dirk Nowitzki three-pointer cut the lead to 4 with under a minute to play, but they weren’t done yet. After Sergio Rodriguez missed a midrange jumper, Dennis Schroder shot down the court like a cannonball before quickly kicking the ball out to Lo behind the three-point line. Lo buried a three-pointer to bring Germany within 1 point with 22 seconds left in the game.

Spain would knock down a pair of free throws on the next possession to bring their lead back to 75-72. Schroder would return the favor by knocking down two at the other end. The free throw game would continue as Sergio Llull again gave Spain a three-point lead. On the next possession Spain somehow fouled too late, not touching Schroder until after he went into his shooting motion. Schroder would go to the line with three shots and a chance to tie the game. Schroder would make the first two easily, but miss the third, giving Spain a 77-76 win. Heartbreaking for Germany and the young point guard.

Schroder played his best all-around game of the tournament. He finished with 26 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and only turned the ball over twice. He made 7 of 8 from the line and even shot 3-for-6 from three-point range. It’s a shame that the only thing he will likely remember is the feeling that came from missing that final free throw.

It was a tumultuous tournament for Schroder. He played extremely well for the most part, he was arguably Germany’s best player, but he struggled with turnovers and his team finished 1-4. Obviously missing a potential game tying free throw is also gut wrenching. Then there is the matter of his postgame comments on Wednesday. Schroder claimed that fouling up 3 points with 21 seconds left was “not smart”. He was absolutely right, although it’s probably not wise to publicly criticize your coach. Schroder publicly apologized on his Instagram, so it’s now much ado about nothing.

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  • Nevertheless, Hawks fans should be encouraged by his performance. International play doesn’t always translate to the NBA, if it did Luis Scola would have 3 MVP awards, but Schroder showed he has what it takes to be an alpha dog.

    Schroder created shots for his teammates, scored when his team really needed a basket and fearlessly attacked the rim. When he had the ball in transition teams would opt to intentionally foul rather than let him attack the basket, his speed in the open court was ridiculous. His outside shooting wasn’t great and he turned the ball over, but overall it was an impressive performance.

    Next comes training camp at the end of the September. It’s about time we see Dennis Schroder back in an Atlanta Hawks jersey.

    Next: Which Hawks Jersey Should You Buy?

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