Two weeks ago, we unveiled the Dennis Schröder Report, a recurring column that we will use to track the performance of the Atlanta Hawks starting point guard as he plays in his second season as a starter. The report is intended to provide insight into curiosities such as “is he an average starting point guard in the league?” and various other angles.
Schröder entered play on Saturday night versus the Washington Wizards ranked fifth at his position in PER as measured by ESPN.com. At the time, the Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving was the only point guard in the Eastern Conference ahead of him. But he finished out the three game road trip with his two worst performances of the young season as measured by the Game Score statistic at basketball-reference.com.
He was a combined 7 of 34 from the field including 0 of 7 on 3-point attempts in those two games. He had just 10 assists and turned the ball over 8 times. Saturday’s game was the second night of a road back-to-back and he might have had his best stretch of defensive play in the second half of Friday night’s game in Detroit. The player Schröder was assigned to defend for most of that game, Avery Bradley, went 0 for 7 on field goal attempts after the half-time break. To be fair, Schröder was not the only Hawks player that looked tired in the match up with the Wizards.
His struggles in Monday night’s one point loss in New Orleans appeared to be simply related to his inability to get to the rim because of the defensive presence of Anthony Davis, who is ranked second in the league in blocked shots. Schröder did convert four field goals inside the restricted area but looked uncomfortable in trying to find space in which to operate.
Schröder is usually comfortable finding shots in the mid-range. He is still fourth in the league among qualified shooter from 15-19 feet. But he missed all seven shots he took from beyond 12 feet in the game in New Orleans.
Schroder’s eFG% has actually improved slightly over the last two weeks thanks to a five game stretch in which he shot 13 of 26 from 3-point range. But he is still 2.6% below where he was last season in his efficiency shooting from the field. He was consistently in the top 15 among starting point guards last season in this department.
Schröder’s free throw rate has not changed much in the last two weeks. Although he did benefit from a few trips to the free throw line in the final minutes in the Hawks win in Cleveland as the Cavaliers had to foul on several successive possessions in an effort to extend the game. He is still tracking toward a career low free throw rate.
Given the impact the rule change regarding shooting fouls seems to be having on free throw volume this season we will likely adjust the scale of this representation in two weeks. The adjustment is proving to be especially impactful to point guards. The only point guards averaging more than 10 free throw attempts per 100 possessions this season are John Wall, Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry. Schroder and the Hawks would benefit greatly if he could get to the free throw line more often. He is 10th in the league in FT% among players with 40 or more attempts on the season.
Schroder was tracking wonderfully in assist to turnover ratio two weeks ago but since has regressed almost to where he was last season. He had no more than three turnovers in his first five games of the season but has since has exceeded that mark in five of his last seven games. He had double digit assists (11) for the first time this season in the narrow loss to the Pistons last week. But he followed that up in consecutive games with just 5 assists and 4 turnovers.
We will have to see if Schroder can start getting these numbers headed in a positive direction as the Hawks take on the league’s third worst defense on Wednesday night when they host the Sacramento Kings.
Background on these chosen statistical targets from the original article:
The statistical measures we have chosen to use include effective field goal percentage (eFG%), free throws made per 100 possessions (FTM/100), assist to turnover ratio (AST:TO) and defensive impact for which we will use ESPN.com’s defensive real plus minus.
To establish some targets, we are using the last three NBA seasons in a weighted fashion. For example to identify a target eFG% for a top 20 starting point guard, we made our best effort to identify the 20th most efficient scorer from the field among qualified starters at the position. The statistical sample from the 2016-17 season was weighted 2x, the statistical sample from the 2015-16 season was weighted 1.5x and the 2014-15 sample was weighted 1.0x.
The philosophy behind this is based upon an attempt to account for how much the league has changed offensively over the last three seasons. Three point attempts are up across the board. A number of teams have embraced an approach to take the risks of increasing turnover frequency by playing faster and aiming to overwhelm opposing defenses physically and mentally.