Schroder: ‘It’s hard to believe that I’m the starting point guard’

Dennis Schroder still finds it hard to believe.

He is a starting point guard in the NBA.

The Hawks committed to Schroder to run the offense when they traded Jeff Teague as part of three-team deal before the NBA Draft last month.

“It’s a big challenge,” Schroder told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s just crazy. It’s hard to believe that I’m the starting point guard. I will just try to do my best to be a good leader and bring us forward.”

Schroder sat courtside to watch the Hawks play the Wizards in the Las Vegas Summer League on Sunday. He also spent time speaking with coach Mike Budenholzer.

Schroder doesn’t expect much to change now that he will be in the starting lineup. There were several games last season when he played down the stretch, including two of the Eastern Conference semifinal games against the Cavaliers.

“In the game, there won’t be a lot of difference because I give everything,” Schroder said. “That’s what I do if I’m playing 20 minutes or 35 minutes. I think the leadership off the court, to build chemistry with the team, try to be around the coaching staff, coach Bud and everybody, and try to build relationships with everybody.”

Schroder said he was in Germany and didn’t have a chance to reach out to Teague following the trade. He realizes — and was reminded — how much playing behind Teague for three seasons helped his game.

“I improved because of Jeff Teague,” Schroder said. “I saw a lot from him and I appreciated everything he did for me.”

Schroder will inherit a different team, especially at center. Al Horford signed with the Celtics, and Dwight Howard signed with the Hawks in free agency. The Hawks now feature a more traditional center and not one capable of stretching the floor.

“More pick-and-roll for sure,” Schroder said of the new-look offense. “Alley-oops. He puts more pressure on the rim. Me and Al did it, too, but Al could shoot, too. We’ve got to get used to it and practice, but I think we’ll put more pressure on the rim when he rolls hard. There are good chances for me to go to the rim and find my shot or my teammates.”