Lakers who could benefit: 3. Dennis Schroder
Dennis Schroder was not fantastic in his first preseason game with the Los Angeles Lakers but it is still hard to not get excited about his fit on this roster. He is essentially replacing Rajon Rondo in the rotation and the things that the Lakers can do with him and Montrezl Harrell off the bench is so exciting.
Despite Schroder saying that he wants to start this season, I do think that his place is on the bench as the sixth man. He should still get starting-caliber minutes and likely will be in the closing lineup but he should not start.
Instead, I would rather see the Lakers start two guards who do not need the basketball while LeBron James essentially operates as the point guard. My ideal starting five is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Wesley Matthews, LeBron, AD and Marc Gasol.
However, that changes when LeBron does not play. LeBron not playing opens the door for Schroder to replace him in the starting lineup, with the same players, giving him a chance to run the offense with the first team to start the game.
There are concerns about Schroder’s ability to initiate for his teammates and these games will give him the opportunity to either prove his critics correct or incorrect.
Will he do enough to start alongside LeBron when he does play? Probably not, as that would give the Lakers no real point guard in the second unit. However, it can cement his place in the closing lineup.