The Los Angeles Lakers received some bad news on Sunday, with starting guard Dennis Schroder entering the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
Schroder will be out on Sunday against the Raptors and when he could return is unknown.
It’s the second this season that Schroder has been held out because of the health and safety protocols, although he says he’s never tested positive for the virus. He expressed frustration after being held out for multiple games earlier this season.
“It hurts, first off. I never had COVID. Tested negative the whole time. The situation is what it is. But the NBA I think got to do better,” Schroder said in February. “I think for sure they need to do better. I mean, I tested negative the whole time. I never had positive. They got to figure that out, for sure.
“It was just hard for me to be in the house, in my guest house — in my own house in my guest house — be there by myself, playing video games, work out. It sucked. But now I’m finally back, and we don’t want it to happen again.”
Dennis Schroder Helped Keep Lakers Afloat During Injuries
Schroder stepped up his play when Anthony Davis and LeBron James were on the sideline with injuries. He averaged 15.8 points and 8.3 assists in April and took over as the team’s primary ball-handler.
“Jared Dudley always comes to me and says, ‘Listen. You’re the guy,’” Schroder said last month. “I mean, LeBron’s going to do his thing. AD’s going to do his thing. I think we’ve still got a lot of firepower in this locker room. But when it comes to [being a] floor general, get a bucket if we need to, hold it down when LeBron is not on the floor, whatever it is, I try to help my team with that.
“Like I said, I’m ready whatever comes. I’ll take the challenge. I try to get to that ultimate goal.”
Davis also had mighty praise for the Lakers guard, who the team acquired in the offseason via trade.
“We need him to be the same Dennis,” Davis said. “He’s making the right reads, he’s making great plays, he’s finishing, shooting the ball. We need him to do the same thing. We don’t want him to kind of fall back when Bron comes back even though Bron does handle the ball a lot. We still want him to push the pace and get in the paint, attacking, finding seams, finding guys for open shots, making those right passes and those right plays, and that’s what we’re going to need from him in order for us to win the championship.”
Lakers Bad Injury Luck Continues
The Lakers have both James and Davis back on the court, but will now be without Schroder. While the Lakers can try to make up for his contributions through the two superstars, the bigger concern is that the team has just nine games to build chemistry before the playoffs.
On top of that, the Lakers have fallen to the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference after losing five of six, meaning they’d be in the play-in tournament if the season ended today.
“I don’t think anything is going to take much work,” Lakers big man Drummond said. “I think it’s just playing. Playing together and being on the same court and just having that time to really get to gel and be on the same court at the same time and just figure each other out.”
James (ankle) and Alex Caruso (back spasms) join Schroder on the injury report. Both are questionable to play Sunday.
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