OKC Thunder: What a week for Dennis Schroder
What a week for the Thunder. From Monday night through Sunday night, the Thunder went 4-0, wiping out deficits of 26 (vs. Chicago), 24 (Memphis) and 18 (Los Angeles Clippers).
Monday morning, Casey Cornett sent out an interesting tweet. The son of former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett is a longtime member of the Thunder’s game-night operation, helping with media relations.
Cornett tweeted that the Thunder “Overcame 3 separate deficits of at least 18 pts (26, 24 and 18). SGA has his top two scoring games of career (32 and 32), CP3 hits 5-5 3’s in Monday’s 4th qtr and I still think Dennis Schroeder deserves Western Conference Player of the Week.”
And sure enough, later Monday, Schroder was named Western Conference player of the week.
Paul indeed hit five straight 3-pointers in the fourth quarter against Chicago (he missed one late), scoring 19 of the Thunder’s 27 points in the final period to lead the comeback. For the week, Paul averaged 18.8 points, 6.5 assists, 2.3 turnovers and 56.3 percent 3-point shooting.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander indeed produced back-to-back games of 32 points, against the Suns and Clippers, and for the week averaged 22.8 points and shot 53.2 percent from the field.
Heck, even Steven Adams posted exemplary numbers -- 13.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 69.4 percent shooting.
The point is not that Adams or SGA or Paul were player-of-the-week contenders (though I guess Gilgeous-Alexander could have been). The point is, when the entire core of the team stands out, it’s hard for any one individual to stand out enough to win individual honors. Yet Schroder did.
He averaged 25.3 points, 6.0 assists and shot 50.7 percent from the field. Schroder had 16 fourth-quarter points against the Clippers and 12 fourth-quarter points against Memphis on Wednesday night.
Schroder is playing perhaps the best basketball of his career, now averaging 18.1 points while shooting 46.8 percent from the field, with 3.8 assists.
“He’s been huge for us,” said teammate Abdel Nader. “Elite level scorer, he’s been big for us all year consistently. We all trust him to take those big shots down the stretch and he’s been making it happen.”
And now Schroder is the Western Conference player of the week when even his own team supplied multiple candidates in a seven-day stretch.