NBA

Dennis Schroder.

Dennis Schroder wants to be the starting point guard for the Atlanta Hawks next season

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The Atlanta Hawks' season once again ended with a playoff sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday and they will now be heading into their offseason with a number of questions that need answering. 

After another disappointing postseason exit following an encouraging 82-game campaign, some adjustments will need to be made to allow the Hawks to get over the hump.

Center Al Horford will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and it remains to be seen whether the big man will re-sign with the franchise he has spent his entire nine-year career with.

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One of the biggest decisions facing Mike Budenholzer and the team, though, lies at the point guard position. 

Atlanta is blessed with two players in that position who are good enough to be starting in Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder. 

Coach Bud alternated between the two in the Cleveland series and the Hawks seemed to have more joy when the German was at the point, which led to him playing crucial fourth quarter minutes on more than one occasion.

Atlanta Hawks v Boston Celtics - Game Three

That experience has given Schroder the appetite to finally become a starter, giving Budenholzer and the organisation a dilemma heading into the 2016-17 season. 

“In the future, I want to be a starting point guard,” Schroder said at the Hawks’ exit interviews on Monday in Atlanta. “Everybody knows it. But in the situation I was this year, I was fine with it. I played my minutes, and I just tried to get better. When the coaching staff and everybody decides I get the team [and start], I’m going to be ready for it.”

If the 22-year-old is given the starting nod next year it could lead to Teague being traded in order to improve other areas of the team. That isn't something the Georgia-based franchise are willing to discuss at the moment, however.

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Two

“We value both Jeff and Dennis,” Budenholzer said. “They have both been incredibly good for us. Part of the reason we have had success is we have had two really good point guards.

“I am not ready to say anything other than how much we love them both. They are a big part of why we have been successful.”

Schroder had more success than Teague against the Cavs; having a 27-point outing in game one and a 21-point showing in game four - with 13 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. 

The youngster even became the go-to guy down the stretch for the Hawks in the last game as he was handed the responsibility of taking the last shot to try and secure a victory.

All-Star Teague, however, is happy for his coach make the final decision but has made it clear what he wants going into the next campaign.

“I don’t know,” the 27-year-old said when asked about the point guard situation next year. “That is up to the coaches or whoever runs the team.

“I have always been a starter. I would love to be a starter.”

Topics:
NBA
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Al Horford
Atlanta Hawks
Jeff Teague
Dennis Schroder

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