Dennis Schroder continues to shine in LeBron’s absence

As the Cleveland Cavaliers rolled into town, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to break a four-game losing streak since losing Lebron James to an ankle injury last week.

Before the game, it was announced that after being re-examined by the medical team, Anthony Davis had been clear to advance his on-court work. According to the medical team, advanced court work includes increased volume and intensity in shooting, dribbling, and position-specific drills. Davis was spotted participating in pregame workouts with athletic trainers before the Lakers-Cavs game.

The Lakers had a touching moment with former teammate Quinn Cook as the teams came out for warmups. Players like Kyle Kuzuma, Montrezl Harrell, and Talen Horton Tucker were seen hugging and horsing around with Cook before the game. This was Cook’s first game back at Staples since being waived by the team on Feb. 24. He’s currently on his second 10-day contract with the Cavs.

During the first half, the absence of All-Stars Lebron James and Anthony Davis continued to be noticeable. By the end of the half, the Lakers had racked up 13 turnovers and allowed seven second-chance points as the Lakers trailed the Cavs, 51-44.

While Dennis Schröder led the team with 10 points during his 16 minutes of playing time, his future with the Lakers seems to be a little up in the air. As the trade deadline loomed, Schröder’s name was tossed around in potential trades to shake up the Lakers roster. Currently, Schröder who is playing on the last year of his contract is also eligible for a contract extension at the end of the season.

According to a report published by The Athletic, The Lakers were willing to include Schröder in possible trades because extension negotiations did not seem to be going well. In the final year of his contract, Schröder is making $15.5 million and is seeking a multi-year extension. He hopes to bump his pay to at least $20 million per year, according to reports.

Schröder has expressed his want to stay with the Lakers. He also acknowledged he wants a new deal that reflects the value he brings to the team, which considering the numbers he has been bringing in Lebron James’ absence has been impressive. In the last five games, Schröder has averaged 19 points, 7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds.

After the Lakers had dropped its fourth straight game (against the Philadelphia Sixers), Schröder expressed he held no hard feelings for being included in trade talks as that is the nature of the game.

“Wherever I go I’m going to be happy with it,” Schröder said to reporters. “I’m 27 years old. It’s my eighth year, and it’s a business. At the end of the day, we’re playing basketball and that’s the best job you can have. So, wherever you’re doing it, whatever organization you’re in, you’re blessed.”

The second half proved to be much better than the first half for the Lakers as Los Angeles outscored the Cavs 28-10 in the third quarter. The team’s defensive struggles disappeared as the Lakers found their rhythm and began to play off of each other’s energy. Montrezl Harrel (a team-high 24 points) gave the Lakers their first lead of the quarter with a dunk over Jarret Allen.

The Cavs tried to catch up but never regained the lead. The Laker ran away with the last two quarters and maintained a fourteen-point lead for their 29th win of the season.

Featured Image: March 26, 2021, Los Angeles, California, USA: Brodric Thomas #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is fouled by Talen Horton-Tucker #5 and Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during their regular season NBA game on Friday March 26, 2021 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Lakers defeat Cavaliers, 100-86. (Photo by PI/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)

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