Schroder still passes on drives at about the same frequency (30 percent this season vs. 28.5 last season) and ends up with an assist at about the same rate (6.7 percent this year vs. 7.4 in 2016-17). And Schroder still doesn’t draw a lot of fouls considering how often he gets to the rim (5.8 foul percentage on drives now vs. 8.5 last season).
Any gains Schroder has made as a scorer and play-maker have been more than offset by his poor defense. The numbers don’t always give the whole picture about defense (or offense, to a lesser extent) but you don’t have to watch the Hawks much to see that Schroder’s defensive effort comes and (mostly) goes. That’s not unusual for players who take on a large scoring load but it’s been glaring for Schroder this season.
Schroder’s steals and rebounds percentages remain low for his position. Schroder’s -3.2 Defensive Box Plus/Minus is much worse than his -1.4 from last season. The Hawks have allowed 11.8 points per 100 possession more with Schroder on the court than off, compared to a difference of 6.0 last season.
All these numbers require context, most of all the differing sample sizes between 79 games for Schroder last season and 11 this year. Other considerations are Schroder’s ankle injury, the tough schedule to begin the season and the fact that Schroder gets most of the attention from opponents because the Hawks have less talent overall than last season (exacerbated by injuries). Schroder is healthier now, the schedule will eventually even out and rotation players DeAndre' Bembry, Ersan Ilyasova and Mike Musclala eventually will return to action.
After Schroder carried the Hawks to the victory at the Mavericks on opening night,
: "(H)is special talent for getting to the basket is why, at this point, the Hawks would have to think hard before trading him for anything other than a major haul." I still believe that's true. Eventually, though, new GM Travis Schlenk will have to decide if Schroder (owed $46.5 million with incentives over three years after this one) can be a core piece for the rebuilt Hawks or should be traded for an asset with the potential to be a better piece.
In the meantime, Schroder said he will continue to follow Budenholzer’s directive: Be a scorer and play-maker, with the former coming by way of aggressiveness with the ball and the latter coming within the flow of the game.
“Sometimes when we get down like six, seven, we’ve still got to stay together as a team and I’ve got to pull everybody together, you know?” Schroder said. “I think we are getting there.”