Dennis Schroder, one of the new pieces for the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, will visit his former workplace Wednesday.
Schroder will play his first game in Oklahoma City since the Thunder traded him to the Lakers in the offseason for Danny Green and Jaden McDaniels.
“I’m glad and grateful I’m on this team and organization,” said Schroder, who is averaging 14.3 points per game.
After winning back-to-back games in Houston on Sunday and Tuesday, the Lakers are 6-0 on the road, their best start away from home since 1985-86.
A win Wednesday would give Los Angeles the best road start in franchise history.
“We’ve got a great group of guys and we want to continue what we’ve been doing on the road so far,” LeBron James said.
James and Schroder enjoyed a playful exchange in the second quarter of Los Angeles’ 117-100 victory over Houston on Tuesday night.
As James released a 3-pointer right in front of the Lakers bench, he turned toward his new teammate.
“Bet it,” James said to Schroder, who had just told James, “Bet you won’t make it.”
“A bet isn’t official until you look a man in the eye,” said James, who finished the game with 26 points and matched his season best with four 3-pointers.
As the ball went through, James and Schroder slapped hands and the Lakers bench erupted.
That exchange is telling of how the Lakers are coming together, Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel said.
“One of our most important goals is to build that chemistry,” Vogel said. “That’s a positive sign for this year’s group. Every year, your team has to re-establish its chemistry whether there’s changes to the roster or not, and it’s a priority of ours to try to build that chemistry every time we’re together.”
The Lakers could be without Anthony Davis for the Wednesday game.
Davis jammed a toe in the Tuesday contest, and Vogel said the big man was questionable for the game against the Thunder.
Oklahoma City also will be on the second night of a back-to-back set, coming off a 112-102 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
While the Thunder have thrived on the road, going 5-1, they have lost all four home games so far.
Even so, new Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault is encouraged by the club’s start.
“If you look at the 10 games in totality, I’ve been pleased with a lot of things,” Daigneault said. “We’ve established really good habits. I think we’ve established a really consistent approach, which first and foremost for us is our priority.
“I think we’ve established a pretty good five-man way of playing on both ends of the floor. … If you zoom out and look at the first 10 games, it’s a pretty good foundation that we can try to build on.”
The back-to-back is just the second for the Thunder this season. Oklahoma City lost to the Utah Jazz on Dec. 28 and fell against the Orlando Magic on Dec. 29.
The Lakers are 1-1 on the back end of such situations this season.
The Wednesday game is the first of three meetings between the teams this season and their only matchup in Oklahoma City.