Dennis Schroder's leadership, defence and pace vital for Raptors

Amit Mann and Asad Alvi discuss goals and the importance of Dennis Schroder's role ahead of the 2023-24 Raptors season. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed or watch on our YouTube.

Video Transcript

AMIT MANN: And referring back to Jake's takes, the question he asked me about Scottie that prompted the answer that I mentioned earlier was he asked, is he going to be the starting point guard? And Darko tiptoed around it. But the other guy that could be the starting point guard, he could be on the floor, again, We have to see what happens with Dame, but Dennis Schroder.

What are your what are your questions for him? I think, considering the circumstances, he's a pretty good replacement at the point guard position, pretty malleable. Darko has a lot a good rapport with him. They have a good rapport with each other. He has a lot of confidence in him.

And there are things that he offers that are unique for a point guard at the position. But yeah, what are the things that-- what are your questions for Dennis Schroder?

ASAD ALVI: For Dennis Schroder? For Dennis Schroder specifically, I think he's an interesting point guard to add. He definitely adds more movement, more cutting to the team. His best seasons both in OKC and in LA were when he was not the primary point guard.

He played in a lot of those lineups for cleaning glass. He was actually the shooting guard. And he played really well in those situations.

So yes, he can run a pick and roll with a good screener. He did really well with Steven Adams as a screener. He did really well in LA with Anthony Davis as a screener. So having a big body like Jakob Poeltl to screen for him, I'm sure he can do well in the pick and roll in that situation.

I think he definitely adds a lot. Yes, you don't get the same pull-up shooting as you would with a Fred VanVleet. But you do get a little bit more slice and dice in the lane.

And I personally am a little more optimistic on his corner catch-and-shoot 3-pointing. Again, you need to have more guards that can shoot from above the break as well. But we'll see how his 3-point shooting kind of goes.

I don't expect it to be anything exceptional. But I don't think it's as big a negative as people are seeing it as. I think he's a passable shooter at best. So that's pieces you're going to miss from him. But I think he'll do well alongside a bunch of playmaking forwards.

And he's played in Darko's system before and done well in movement-oriented systems that aren't as isolation-heavy. So I'm optimistic about him as a player. I think he can be a very good contributor to the Raptors.

AMIT MANN: Yeah. I keep on referring back to Jake's takes, but these are the most recent quotes we have from Darko. And he had mentioned Jakob Poeltl, and he said that he plans on using him as a playmaker. And we didn't get to see that that much this past season.

Not to blame Nick Nurse, it happened in small spurts. But I just love the idea of a two-man game between-- you know, it's an empty side, and you have Jakob Poeltl and Dennis Schroder going to work. And just the downhill threat that Dennis has, like, we talk about get a step on your defender.

Like, he just can do that in a flash. And it's not a problem for him. He's so fast. And I just like the idea of seeing him go downhill and being able to create advantages in that way. And if he is-- like, whatever point guard he is, starter, bench, I'm curious if he can run a five-man unit.

Like, I think the Raptors, as you mentioned, they're going to have more depth this upcoming season. And how does he work with, like, a Christian Koloko and a Jalen McDaniels and a Chris Boucher, for instance, a Precious Achiuwa. Can he run that unit and kind of make it sing?

It obviously-- just, it creates so much simplicity when a player knows, like, what's expected of them. And if they want to roll, like, a five-man starting unit and a five-man bench unit or whatever the case is, players like that. They like knowing what's expected of them. And I think Dennis is capable. And I'm also curious, like, what kind of leader is-- what kind of leadership is he bringing?

Like, he just came from-- he's a fun guy, and he just came from LeBron. And LeBron, every single team that he has, it's always a fun squad. They always have, like, inside jokes. And I just think the Raptors could use more of that this upcoming season. And he has the spirit that could offer that.

But when he's on the floor, I think he has to be a leader. He has to be a game manager on both sides. He has to be the spark plug. He has to be the heart of their identity on both sides. So his defense, it's his point of attack defense, which I think is going to be terrific, smart doubles, you know, just clamping up dudes.

And then on the other side of the ball, you know, it's 0.5 basketball, right? And he's one of the best players suited to be in a situation like that because of how fast he is, and he's experienced. He's seen a lot in his career. And yeah, those are a few of the things there.

And the FIBA version of him has different styles of basketball, but he did shoot 38% from 3. Outside of-- if you cancel the Latvia game where he shot 0 of 8, he shot 38% from 3 at FIBA, and he shot 51% overall. And he was hitting some pull-up 3's and pull-up 2s.

And we know that the space that he requires when a defender goes under is it's a wider angle than it would be for another person because of how fast he is. Teams are scared of his speed. And so that does allow for more space with some crafty screening from a Jakob, for instance. But more space to get a shot off.

Is he more confident in that look? I'm curious about that. Because he's got a floater. He can turn corners really fast. But the pull-up 3, the pull-up 2s, it would be such a nice thing for the Raptors to have in a pick and roll. It would be really nice.

ASAD ALVI: Again, the point of attack defense is definitely a big thing. But I'm optimistic that Dennis Schroder is a good-- going to be a good fit for this Raptors team. And yeah, like, I'm looking forward to seeing how he can kind of change maybe the speed that the Raptors play at and kind of increase their pace in the half court with his cutting and his speed.

AMIT MANN: Mm-hmm. Transition is going to be fun with-- especially if you think of a bench lineup that he's featuring, some of the speed the Raptors have, the athleticism, it could be really, really cool to watch. OK, Gary Trent Jr., someone who had a bit--