Starting Lakers point guard Dennis Schröder has played particularly well as of late, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Schröder has been the single most important element of the team’s offense without All-Stars LeBron James or, until recently, Anthony Davis, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic. As the team’s lead ball-handler without James, Schröder has taken on more of the scoring and passing burden.
“He had to,” Davis said. “But he’s been playing huge for us, since I’ve been back and when I was out, figuring it out for us while still keeping us afloat and in the mix.”
Schröder has averaged 17.4 PPG and 7.8 APG across the 20 games since James’s injury, making a push for a lucrative new contract ahead of his upcoming unrestricted free agency. The 27-year-old has reportedly turned down an extension offer from the Lakers in the range of $80MM+ over four years.
There’s more out of Los Angeles:
- Lakers All-Star forward LeBron James posted what must be a tantalizing missive to L.A. fans recently, per Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. A black-and-white video featuring James enacting a layup drill in Dallas was accompanied by a promising quote: “Coming soon to a city near you.” James has been sidelined with a high-ankle sprain since March 20, and the Lakers officially remain cagier than James himself has been, sticking with the “indefinite” line in addressing his availability.
- Clippers center Ivica Zubac has delivered in his new role as the club’s starter with Serge Ibaka injured, writes Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. A back injury has kept Ibaka on the shelf since March 14. Zubac’s play has been one reason why L.A. boasts a league-best 18-4 record since Ibaka’s last game as starter — there’s a chance Ibaka may have lost his starting slot for good.
- Veteran Clippers center DeMarcus Cousins is comfortable with his firmly-established position in the pecking order for his new team (the fourth and final California club to have signed him), tweets Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. Cousins is the third center on the team, behind Zubac and Ibaka. The well-traveled former four-time All-Star praised the club’s “one of a kind” culture and organization.