Dwight Howard wasn’t the only player making his debut in a new role for the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night. Dennis Schröder officially stepped in as the team’s starting point guard replacing Jeff Teague and turned in a good but not spectacular performance.
Schröder finished the night with 14 points two assists and four turnovers. Offensively he was 6 for 12 from the field and was 2 for 4 from three-point range. There were times he looked hesitant to pull up and take the jump shot and struggled just a bit to finish at the rim.
Malcolm Delaney also made his Hawks debut finishing with four points, five assists and three turnovers in 20 minutes off the bench. Delaney was just 2 of 7 from the field and missed his only three-point attempt.
Schröder picked up his second and third fouls late in the second quarter. Mike Budenholzer initially stuck with him for a couple of possessions before pulling him in a timeout. However, instead of inserting Delaney, he elected to go with a lineup featuring no true point guard on the floor with Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the backcourt.
It wasn’t immediately clear if that was hunch by Budenholzer of if that was just a combination that he wanted to take a look at. It didn’t hurt the Hawks on the scoreboard, but it is something to keep an eye on going forward.
Both point guards settled down a bit after halftime. Schröder went 3 for 4 from the field in the second half with two assists and just one turnover. He helped contribute defensively against John Wall who finished with 12 points and 10 assists but was just 3 for 15 from the field.
Delaney had two points and three assists with no turnovers after halftime and was on the floor when the Hawks went on their big fourth quarter run to take control of the game.
The point guard situation is going to be something to watch all season long. Schröder is still growing as a player and there will be some growing pains along the way. Delaney was playing in his first NBA game and appeared to struggle with the speed of the game early on but was able to settle in after halftime. That is a good sign going forward.