Dennis Schroder is out for Lakers vs. Heat rematch

Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) passes the ball during the second quarter.
Lakers guard Dennis Schroder passes against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 10.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The absence of Dennis Schroder adds a layer of intrigue to the NBA Finals rematch between the Lakers and Miami Heat on Saturday night at Staples Center.

Yet for the Lakers, the biggest problem is Anthony Davis sidelined because of a right calf strain for an estimated four weeks.

They have lost two of their last three games and their shooting touch as well. The Lakers are making just 35.8% of their three-pointers, dropping them to 19th in the NBA. They are attempting only 30.1 threes per game, which has dropped the Lakers to 27th in the league.

For the Heat, they have yet to resemble the squad that reached the NBA Finals in October. Miami is just 12-17, has gone 5-5 in its last 10 games and is 11th in the Eastern Conference standings.

The update after practice regarding Schroder, who missed Thursday night’s game because he was in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, did not bring any clarity.

“Yeah, it’s still uncertain what the timeline is going to look like,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said on a videoconference. “For now, all I can really tell you is that due to health and safety protocols, he’s still out. Was not here at practice today and just no timeline.”

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The Lakers made it a certainty Friday evening that Schroder, their starting point guard and one of the team’s top playmakers, would miss the game Saturday.

Vogel said there was “some” emphasis on three-point shooting in practice Friday, but they were “not overdoing it.”

He thinks better overall execution could help the Lakers improve their three-point shooting percentage.

“You know, I think we’re hesitant to space appropriately on the backside and to see shooters on the backside and deliver the ball, and there is a handful of possessions where guys have passed up shots, which is not unusual for any team at any stretch in their season,” Vogel said. “But when we’re struggling as a group, we just got to make that sure we remove that hesitancy and that our guys are ultra-aggressive in those catch-and-shoot situations.”

When the Lakers and Heat met in the Finals in the NBA’s bubble on the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., both were playing at a high level.

That is not the case now, and when they see each other at Staples Center, LeBron James for one will not be reminiscing.

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May 18, 2020

“Nah, not really. It’s just … it’s a different scenario, different environment,” James said on Thursday night. “Obviously we were in the bubble in Orlando and now we’re back in our region, being in L.A., at Staples Center, but without our fans. So, I don’t want to say it will be good, but it will be familiar faces to see them again in a such a short period of time. But, as far as the memories and things of that nature, going back to our battle with them in the Finals, I don’t think that will come up [for] me too much throughout the game.”




When: 5:30 p.m, Saturday.

On the air: TV: ABC; Radio: 710, 1330

Update: Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are the engines that make the Heat go. Butler (13 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) and Adebayo (16 points, 10 assists, 12 rebounds) had triple-doubles against Sacramento on Thursday night. Adebayo leads the team in scoring (19.8) and rebounds (9.3) while Butler is second in scoring (19.1) and rebounding (7.8). Butler leads the Heat in assists (7.7) and Adebayo is second (5.5).