Dennis Schroder started in the Toronto Raptors first 29 games of the season. He got off to a hot start, but then Schroder struggled to find consistency.
On a 3-game losing streak and with their season beginning to slip away it was time for a change.
The Toronto Raptors made a starting lineup change ahead of their matchup against the Washington Wizards. Toronto started Gary Trent Jr. in place of Dennis Schroder.
This was a move that was speculated for many weeks and coach Darko Rajakovic Rajakovic finally pulled the trigger on it:
Raptors finally make a change to their struggling starting unit. Gary Trent Jr. starts in place of Dennis Schroder.
Barnes-Trent-Anunoby-Siakam-Poeltl have only played 8 minutes together this season. Previous 5 starters had started the first 25 games they were all available for
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) December 27, 2023
The Raptors new starting five were -8 in 9.5 minutes of action.
However, the move to bring Schroder from off the bench benefited him.
Schroder played 28 minutes as he finished with 9 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds and was a team-high +29. Schroder did an excellent job in his minutes. Once he came into the game the Raptors ended the first quarter on 15-1 run.
Schroder also had 8 assists in the first half alone. After the game Schroder got the the ‘win the day’ chain for his efforts. The Raptors as a whole finished with 43 assists and the ball moved much better in the new rotation.
The Raptors went on to blow out the Wizards 132-102.
Schroder deserves credit
Schroder deserves a lot of credit for how he handled the change of him coming from off the bench. He didn’t seem upset with the decision and handled his business as a true professional.
He responded with one of his best games in a while.
Schroder is no stranger when it comes to excelling in a bench role as he has been a backup point guard for most of his career. If Schroder embraces his new bench role with the Raptors, he can truly shine as the second unit’s leader.
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