Dennis schroder has failed to start his seventh NBA season. The national basketball player suffered a 95-100 (46-49) defeat at the hands of the utah jazz in his first match with the oklahoma city thunder in the north american professional league.
The 26-year-old from braunschweig had a mixed performance in salt lake city, scoring only three points but grabbing six rebounds and four assists. If the newly formed thunder are to make the playoffs again this season after the departure of superstar russell westbrook to the houston rockets, a clear improvement will be necessary in the coming months.
"We gave this win away, but it still feels good the way we played," said set-up man chris paul. The 34-year-old came to OKC for westbrook and is now expected to lead the team. In his debut for the thunder, the nine-time all-star scored 22 points; only rookie shai gilgeous-alexander was better on his team with 26 digits. "We gave away too many throws near the basket," criticized coach billy donovan.
Schroder was on the floor for just over 30 minutes, but hit only one of his eight shots from the field during that time. The point guard, who is even more in the german focus in his first year after dirk nowitzki’s retirement, was not alone with his poor shooting percentage. Oklahoma city had no chance to win the opener, mainly because of too many missed shots.
"It’s the seventh season, but it only feels like the third," schroder had said the day before the start in utah state. He expects "an exciting season" with a "very athletic team". Schroder feels "pretty good" and gave direction for next week: "we have to focus on defense first and then play fast forward."
In the first match after ara nowitzki, the dallas mavericks won 108:100 against the washington wizards. National player maxi kleber remained without points in the mavs jersey, but the wurzburger grabbed eight rebounds. The german duo on the other side was in a better mood: washingtons national players moritz wagner (13 points) and isaac bonga (9 points) delivered decent performances after their transfer from the los angeles lakers.
The 19-year-old bonga was even in the starting lineup and played 23 minutes. 20-year-old berlin wagner missed just one shot in his 17 minutes, but also lost five balls. With washington, wagner and bonga take on schroder’s thunder in next meeting.
Daniel theis and the boston celtics drew the short end of the stick against the philadelphia 76ers, 93-107 (48-49). 27-year-old theis scored three payers in celtics’ shutout loss.