Lakers guard Dennis Schroder’s startling stat that proves Russell Westbrook isn’t completely washed yet
The Los Angeles Lakers recently signed Dennis Schroder to bolster the team’s depth approaching the new season. Schroder, who played with the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, will reunite with former teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as well as his former running mate with the Oklahoma City Thunder in Russell Westbrook.
Schroder’s addition provided Lakers fans some hope, especially with his stellar performances in the 2022 Eurobasket, amidst a team in flux, still yet to discover the best role for polarizing guard Russell Westbrook. However, one ugly stat in particular will be a cause for concern for LA, highlighting a facet of Schroder’s game that’s remained inferior to Westbrook despite his decline.
BBall Index founder Tim, working under the pseudonym “Cranjis McBasketball”, wrote that Schroder’s finishing at the rim won’t inspire much confidence, seeing how his Rim Shot Making rating is worse than any of Russell Westbrook’s seasons, including his much-maligned 2021-22 season.
For all the angst around Russ' finishing at the rim, his Rim Shot Making rating from this past season would be a career high for Schröder…
— Cranjis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) September 17, 2022
According to the BBall Index glossary, the aforementioned metric “seeks to capture how well a player scores at the rim on the attempts they have once there, and doing so while capturing and adjusting for variables that may impact performance finishing at the rim (such as spacing, if they were creating their own shot or not, location of shots, etc.)”. It goes to show that Westbrook isn’t completely washed yet, remaining viable as an offensive option in the paint, more so than Schroder.
Thankfully for Lakers fans, Schroder was not signed to put pressure on the basket with his drives, but rather act as a secondary playmaker who can make shots from the perimeter at a level that’s at least better than Westbrook. Schroder can certainly do that, having shot 34.4% from three on 3.9 attempts per game, compared to 29.8% for Westbrook on 3.4 this past season.
While Dennis Schroder had a tough 2021-22 season splitting time with the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets, a return to his 2021 Lakers form will be enough of an upgrade in terms of scoring punch from the perimeter, especially with the status of Kendrick Nunn still up in the air. Just don’t expect him to attack the rim with the same ferocity and effectiveness as Russell Westbrook.