When Toronto Raptors point guard Dennis Schroder and the rest of the German national team started to play in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, many expected them to put up a good fight before eventually conceding to teams with more NBA players. Schroder instead played a pivotal role in pushing the Germans closer to a medal.
Even though the United States didn’t field a team comprised of every elite player the country had to offer, the Americans were still expected to waltz through the tournament en route to a gold medal. With Schroder fresh off a 4-26 stinker against Latvia, a second big win against Germany was almost a formality.
Schroder, the sibling duo of Moritz and Franz Wagner, and the rest of a very deep, organized German side did everything they could to ensure such a blowout didn’t happen. In fact, Germany made history with an all-time upset, beating the United States 113-111 in a win that will never be forgotten in German basketball history.
While Andreas Obst led the Germans with 24 points, and the 1-2 punch of Franz and Daniel Theis combined for 43 points, Schroder led the team with nine assists while also chipping in 17 points and two key steals. This Schroder-led team is for real, and now they have a shot at taking him the ultimate prize.
Toronto Raptors PG Dennis Schroder helps Germany upset the USA.
While Schroder’s scoring has taken a slight step backward in the last few games due to the rest of his teammates stepping up, he was keeping this offense performing at a high level when Wagner suffered an ankle injury in group stage play. He has been one of the best players in this tournament.
It may have appeared as though the Raptors paid slightly over market value for a player like Schroder, but his performances in FIBA play show exactly why Masai Ujiri was so proactive in signing him. A lethal finisher at the rim with tremendous passing instincts and veteran moxie, Schroder picked apart the USA defense all game long.
The potential Raptors starting point guard will face off against Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nikola Jovic, and a Serbia team that is showing the world they are one of the premier basketball nationals even without the mighty Nikola Jokic on the roster. With their size against Germany’s speed, the stylistic contrast should make for a wild finale to this competition.
Schroder’s Toronto signing was met with skepticism, but he’s played some of the best games of his professional career as he tries to lead his country to a gold medal. Ujiri has to be grinning ear to ear watching one of his more hyped free agent signings pull off a monumental upset like this.