Depending on your goals for the Atlanta Hawks in this season and beyond, point guard Dennis Schroder’s late-game decision-making against the similarly lowly Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night was either colossally dumb or low-key brilliant.
If you’re a basketball player trying to win a game? Not so smart.
With 6.5 seconds remaining and his team down by three, Schroder gobbled up an inbounds pass and raced down the floor. But instead of pulling up from deep or dishing to someone along the three-point line, he hit a layup … with under a second remaining.
I may have underestimated the #Hawks. With no timeouts, this is INCREDIBLE dedication to tanking.
— Fastbreak Breakfast NBA Podcast (@fastbreakbreak) January 3, 2018
I literally cannot believe what Dennis Schroder just did there.
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) January 3, 2018
Watch it again, but focus on his teammates’ dejected reactions.
The Sun most thankful for Schroder’s piss-poor decision-making: Marquese Chriss, who left Taurean Prince, shooting 41.8 percent from deep this year, wide-freaking-open at the three-point line only to slide over and try to block a shot he should have been glad Schroder was taking.
Chriss should be especially pleased Schroder didn’t punish him for his brain fart, as it solidified his late block as the game-winning play.
Holy hell. Marquese Chriss saves game for Suns with a monster block of Taurean Prince Jr. at rim 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/J0WckyAucL
— 🚁Sky Wob🚁 (@World_Wide_Wob) January 3, 2018
Of course, in the long term, Schroder’s play is sneakily beneficial. The Hawks are now 10-27 and clearly not bound for the playoffs, so sealing up a loss only helps their crusade for the No. 1 overall draft pick, and it inflates the scoring average of Schroder, who could become trade bait for the squad’s rebuild.
Schroder must really want to move.