Atlanta Hawks Player Preview: Dennis Schroder



  • AGE: 22
  • HEIGHT: 6’1



2014-2015 SEASON RECAP:

Dennis Schroder, the Atlanta Hawks’ 1st round (17th overall) pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, was widely regarded as an interesting pick, especially after his rookie season. Schroder, although showing plenty of promise for upcoming seasons, did not start producing numbers like he is capable of right away. After scoring only 3 points per game while shooting 38 percent from the floor in his rookie season, Dennis Schroder picked up his game last season.

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Going into last season, it was a question of who was going to be Jeff Teague’s back-up. In the 7 games of the 2014 Eastern Conference first round series against Indiana, Schroder only played in 2 games for a total of 7 minutes. Shelvin Mack was the 2nd man up at point guard in that series. So, it wasn’t clear if he would remain Teague’s primary back-up throughout the season, or if young Dennis would step up and become the guy.

But, Schroder did just that. It was very clear at the beginning of the season that Coach Budenholzer’s work with Schroder during the offseason had helped tremendously.

Schroder improved in just about every category thinkable. He stayed healthy all season and was given roughly 20 minutes a game, to Mack’s 15. Coach Bud began to play Schroder with Teague a decent amount, starting about halfway through the season. This was a good look for Atlanta because of the quickness this lineup brings to the table.

Schroder is a very different type of player than Teague. Being shorter, Dennis is more of a quick, elusive guard than Teague, who strives in set offenses. Schroder is very capable of making some huge plays for the Hawks, and can easily fire up the bench.

This is probably my favorite Schroder play from the entire season, as it showcases his quickness and finesse at the basket, and his court awareness and vision. He is able to zoom past the “Brazilian Blur” Leandro Barbosa using the help of a Mike Scott pick, then finish at the rim with a beautiful finger roll over top of Marreese Speights, who was late on the switch. Then, he turns around, steals the inbound, flips it to  Kyle Korver at the top of the key who drains the three-pointer to tie the game. Notice how Dennis doesn’t even have to look back, as he knows the Korver three is money.

This play against the Spurs shows some more of Schroder’s quick first step, and ability to finish at the rim, this time with a dunk. He made it look easy against one of the NBA’s best defenders, Kawhi Leonard.

I will now take a look at what is expected of the young point guard going into his 3rd year as an Atlanta Hawk.

2015-2016 PREVIEW:

The Hawks had a decently busy offseason, but the depth and personnel at the point guard position remain virtually the same as last season.

Jeff Teague will without a doubt be the Hawks starting point guard on the season opener against the Pistons in Philips Arena. It is very likely that Schroder will be the first off the bench to relieve Teague. With Dennis improving his game, I believe he will see even more minutes this season and his competitor, Shelvin Mack, will continue to receive less.

Schroder will probably find himself in more and more late game situations as the season goes on, just like last season. Coach Bud likes to give Dennis a chance to play with not only his bench unit, but also the starting unit.

If Schroder wants to spend a lot of time on the court, he needs to continue to improve his game overall, and a couple things in particular.

First off, his shooting could use some help. In his 1st year, Hawks fans would cringe every time he pulled up behind the  three-point line. Last season, fans felt better when he decided to attempt a three, but he was still very inconsistent with it. If Dennis can develop a jumper just as or more reliable than Teague’s, he will become a very valuable asset on the court for Atlanta.

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  • Also, Schroder needs to limit foolish mistakes. Just like any young player, when Dennis makes a mistake such as a turnover or letting someone score on him, he is prone to make more in the next couple minutes. In Schroder’s first couple of seasons, you could kind of tell how his night was going to go based on his first appearance in the game. If he turns it over early, he starts playing shaky and tries to make up for his turnover, which leads to more costly mistakes. Schroder needs to understand he is going make mistakes, as every NBA player does, and he needs to continue to play his own game after messing up.

    Coach Bud really likes Dennis Schroder and it’s easy to see why. He shows plenty of promise and if he is able to continue to gradually increase his production this season, he will be a vital part of the Hawks run.

    Next: Paul Millsap Player Preview

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