Dennis Schroder will not leave his wife Ellen by herself when she gives birth to the couple's second child in the next three to four weeks. Schroder will be leaving the Thunder as they restart the season, but he is a dedicated family man.
"I am for sure going to go there and support her and try to be there as much as I can for my family." For Schroder going to Orlando meant not only leaving behind his pregnant wife, but it also meant leaving his 17-month-old son Dennis Jr.
"For me, it's tough. I love my teammates. I love basketball, but the family comes first."..."I tried to make something happen with the organization, I sacrificed a lot for my team, but like I said we still got to get on the same page, then I can see my family when the baby is coming, and we going to make it work."
Schroder's absence means Billy Donovan will need to find consistent scoring from someone else on the bench. At 19 points per game and shooting 38 percent from three, Schroeder is carrying the Oklahoma City reserves, which rank 9th in the league and average just over 39 points per game.
One option is to make sure that some combination of Chis Paul, Shai Gilgous-Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari are always on the court. Even Paul and Gallinari, who are north of 30, should be able to handle the extra minutes for a couple of games.
The most significant loss will not be having Schroder as part of Oklahoma City's closing lineup with Gilgous-Alexander and Paul, which has outscored its opponents by 268 points in 401 minutes.
If the Thunder can have Schroder back by the time they play Memphis on August 7th, they should be in good shape.
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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.