germanys schroder reprises familiar role for thunder
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 11:59:16
Egypt Today, egypt today

Germany's Schroder reprises familiar role for Thunder

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today Germany's Schroder reprises familiar role for Thunder

Dennis Schroder.
Washington - DPA

The Oklahoma City Thunder are clearly a better team with Russell Westbrook. But until he returns, they have Dennis Schroder. 

The quicksilver German guard was acquired in an offseason trade with the Atlanta Hawks, where he started the last two seasons but had maturity issues on and off the court. Schroder was expected to back up Westbrook, but has already started four games as the 2017 MVP has been dealing with injuries. 

Westbrook missed the season's first two games recovering from knee surgery, then sprained his left ankle Monday against New Orleans. Schroder took over and finished with 22 points. 

"He's been a starter in this league. It's not a role he hasn't been in," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. 

With Westbrook sidelined, Schroder scored a season-high 28 points in Wednesday's win at Cleveland. 

"They overplayed me, so I tried to put pressure on the rim and score big-time," said Schroder, who had no assists. 

During Thursday's 98-80 home win over Houston - Oklahoma City's seventh in a row - Westbrook had several discussions with Schroder, who had 14 points and five assists. 

The Thunder (7-4) are 2-2 without Westbrook. Schroder is averaging 17.8 points in those games and 16.5 overall.  

SUNNY FORECAST: Despite the presence of rising star Devin Booker and top overall pick DeAndre Ayton of the Bahamas, the Phoenix Suns are 2-9, the worst record in the Western Conference.

The Suns entered the season with journeyman Isaiah Canaan and rookies De'Anthony Melton and Elie Okobo of France as their point guards. On Thursday, they had an up-close look at a potential future floor general - Boston Celtics' Terry Rozier, who scored 10 points in 21 minutes in his team's 116-109 win at Phoenix. 

The Suns will have plenty of room under the salary cap next summer, when Rozier will become a restricted free agent. The Celtics can match any offer he receives but will be over the luxury tax threshold, which has exponential penalties. 

Rozier emerged in last season's playoffs, averaging 16.5 points and 5.7 assists in 36.6 minutes starting for injured All-Star Kyrie Irving. But Irving is back this season, and Rozier is averaging 7.7 points and 2.0 assists in 22.5 minutes off the bench while remaining quiet about his reduced role. 

"I know for sure that Terry would love to be playing more minutes, but there's a lot of guys on the team that would love to be playing more minutes," Celtics president Danny Ainge told a Boston radio station Thursday. 

GAME OF THE WEEK: Milwaukee at Denver on Saturday. Both teams began the season under the radar as contenders but are near the top of their respective conferences. 

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