Mike Budenholzer said it was a “coach’s decision” to leave Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder on the bench for the final eight-plus minutes of Sunday’s 111-107 loss to the Knicks. Schroder said Budenholzer didn’t offer him an explanation.
“You’ve got to ask Coach and then let me know,” Schroder said. “I’m supposed to be out there but it didn’t happen. So, that’s it.”
Budenholzer sat Schroder with 8:14 to play and the Hawks trailing 89-83. Asked if he would seek out an explanation from Budenholzer for his benching, Schroder said: “I will just wait until he comes to me.”
The Hawks finished the game with an unusual lineup that included Isaiah Taylor at point guard instead of Schroder, the team’s best player.
“Isaiah gave us a big lift,” Budenholzer said. “Malcolm (Delaney) came in, in the first half, gave us a big lift. Just a coach’s decision.”
Schroder finished with a team-high 21 points, three assists and two turnovers in 22 minutes. He had scored seven consecutive points for the Hawks not long before Budenholzer benched him.
“Nobody is perfect,” Schroder said. “Whatever happens, you can come talk to me. I don’t know. I think the starting five is supposed to be out there just competing and try to get the win.”
Budenholzer and Schroder have clashed in the past.
Budenholzer sat Schroder for a handful of games during the 2015-16 season after the two argued. The Hawks suspended Schroder for a game without pay last season when he reported back late from the All-Star break, and Schroder didn’t start the next game after he was late for a team bus.
Schroder, 24, also faces a team suspension for his arrest on a misdemeanor battery charge in DeKalb County in October. The Hawks said they would make a final decision on discipline once Schroder's legal case is resolved.