OKC Thunder guard Dennis Schroder should’ve been a shoo-in for Sixth Man, but early indications are he’s in for a dog fight.
This past weekend the NBA advised all individual awards will be based on games played through March 11th when the season was put on hold. That means the eight seeding games will not play a factor. Initially, OKC Thunder fans and many local media experts assumed that was good news for Dennis Schroder.
The reserve point guard will be leaving the Disney bubble when his wife, Ellen Ziolo goes into labor to deliver the couples, second child. As stated last week, her due date is within the next three to four weeks (now the next two to three weeks).
As with any childbirth these dates are estimations, and not definitive. Presumably, if his wife goes past the expected due date there will be a point in time when doctors induce labor. Until that time, Schroder will be working with the team but no doubt have his wife and the impending delivery on his mind.
If you’re wondering what effect that could have on his game look no further than the Raptors Fred VanVleet from last season who struggled mightily early in the postseason but blew up offensively after his son was born.
Based on the ESPN article today the two players who present the greatest challenge to Schroder play for the same team – Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams of the LA Clippers. That’s why the seeding games not factoring in the award determination could also work against Schroder.