Raptors’ Dennis Schroder shines against USA in close loss

BERLIN, GERMANY - 2022/09/18: Dennis Schroder of Germany (Photo by Nicholas Muller/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - 2022/09/18: Dennis Schroder of Germany (Photo by Nicholas Muller/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors don’t have a ton of talent percolating around the international scene at this point in time, leaving new point guard addition Dennis Schroder as the unquestioned main attraction in FIBA World Cup warmups. So far, the results have been very encouraging.

Schroder’s Germany has gone 4-2 in six friendly games prior to the World Cup, almost all of which included Schroder scoring in double figures and dishing out close to 10 assists. The schedule included dominant wins against Sweden and China, a victory over Canada that was later avenged, and a triumph over Greece.

Schroder faced his toughest test yet against the United States, and he fell 99-91 thanks to a career night from Anthony Edwards. While Germany did blow a 16-point lead, Schroder showing off his lethal style of play was one of the main reasons Toronto had such a lead in the first place.

Schroder finished this close game with 16 points and 10 assists, giving him yet another friendly where he finished with at least 15 points. Those assist numbers don’t even take into account how dominant he truly terrific was, as he set up his teammates with hockey assists multiple times against the Americans.

Toronto Raptors PG Dennis Schroder impressed again for Germany.

These offensive exploits are the exact things that convinced Masai Ujiri to pursue him so aggressively. Schroder’s consistency (he has averaged at least 10 points per game in every season except his rookie year), and underrated passing skills will appeal to both Ujiri and coach Darko Rajakovic.

While Schroder might not end up in the starting lineup, he will almost assuredly assume the role of Sixth Man on this Raptors team. Toronto’s bench has been the source of much consternation and anguish over the last few years, and Schroder will help remedy that.

Rather than serving as a role player for Germany, Schroder is going to be their main offensive force. Teaming with the Wagner brothers, Pacers center Daniel Theis, and former Raptors guard Isaac Bonga, Schroder will try to take down Australia, Finland, and Japan in World Cup group play.

While Schroder is likely not going to be the top scorer or ball-handler on the Raptors in the 2023-24 season, his play with Germany could be a preview of what an all-bench unit led by him could look like. He might be exactly what Toronto needs in their quest for consistency.

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