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Dennis Schroder leaves bubble, Thunder shorthanded for at least 3 games


Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder left the Orlando bubble Monday morning to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

This news isn’t new to the Thunder, as the organization knew Schroder was going to leave Orlando to be with his wife:

“Dennis Schroder is away from the team right now with his family,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said, via ESPN.

“It happened this morning so he’s with his family at this point and time. I’ll have a chance to probably talk to him and find out a little bit more, if it’s not later today, tomorrow. But right now for at least this game, he’ll be out. We’ll probably be able to gather some more information once we get a chance to spend a little bit more time with him over the phone.”

Schroder is one of the best bench players in the NBA. He’s averaging 18.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game on the season for the Thunder while shooting 46.9 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from beyond the arc and 83.8 percent from the free-throw line.

The Thunder are in the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings. However, heading into Monday’s game, they’re only 1.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the No. 3 spot. It has been incredible to watch this Thunder team play like an elite squad despite losing superstars Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the same summer.

Schroder should be back in time for the Thunder’s first playoff game, though it’s unclear when he’ll return. The Thunder will give him as much time as necessary. He’ll likely miss at least three games (including Monday) due to the protocols in place, and it could be more than that.

During Schroder’s absence, the Thunder will be forced to play Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander extended minutes during the remaining seeding games.

Terrance Ferguson is also currently out with a leg injury.