Atlanta Hawks’ Dennis Schroder Must Improve Next Season
Dennis Schroder didn’t come into the league with a lot of expectations, but he was a disappointment for the Atlanta Hawks this season. Many expected Schroder to be Jeff Teague‘s backup after being drafted in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft, yet things didn’t quite pan out for the young German. He struggled right from the start and it cost him dearly. Instead of waiting for the point guard to turn the corner, coach Mike Budenholzer had seen enough and decided to give other players more playing time.
One such player who was the biggest beneficiary of his decreased playing time was Shelvin Mack, who used this opportunity to his advantage and stepped in right away to fulfill the duties of a backup point guard. The numbers Mack put up in an increased role was what the front office thought they were going to get from Schroder, but things just didn’t work out that way for the rookie. The adjustment to the NBA game was a little too much for him to handle and with Mack averaging 7.5 points and 3.7 assists per game, coach Bud couldn’t bench him in favor of the German.
Therefore, the lack of playing time really hurt his development. However, there is still hope for Schroder. I don’t think the Hawks are ready to give up on someone who is only 20 years old, this early into his career. Also, the young point guard showed some promising signs late in the year when given a chance, which can hopefully translate to next year. If there’s one thing in particular he must work on it’s his offensive game. He showed the ability to be a great distributor of the ball and can play exceptional defense, yet the offense is still trailing far behind.
Schroder only managed to put up a mere 3.7 points per game this season with the Hawks. Given the time he actually saw the floor that doesn’t seem too bad, but the reason he didn’t play was because he couldn’t shoot. He shot an awful 23.8 percent from the three-point line and 38.3 percent from the field. Both of those numbers have to improve next year if he wants to become a part of the Atlanta rotation. Coach Bud is not going to put someone out there who doesn’t pose the threat of scoring at the point guard position.