It took Dennis Schröder less than one game to ingratiate himself to the Nets fans.
This was the best of Schröder. And it helped unlock the best of the Nets.
Making his Brooklyn debut Saturday afternoon, the newly-acquired point guard sparked a 123-103 rout of visiting San Antonio before a sellout crowd of 18,005 at Barclays Center that chanted his name late in this blowout.
“My teammates made it easy for me,” Schröder said in an oncourt TV interview. “We had practice yesterday. Everyone was talking to me and they made it easy for me.”
The Nets (21-31) had landed Schröder from Toronto at the trade deadline in return for disgruntled starter Spencer Dinwiddie.
Two days later, he showed not only what he could do for them but just how much he’s grown as a player.
Coming off the bench behind Ben Simmons, Schröder had 15 points and 12 assists in 27 impactful minutes.
It was the third-highest assist total off the bench in franchise history, behind only James Harden and Kevin Porter.
In his first visit to Brooklyn, generational phenom Victor Wembanyama came in leading all rookies by averaging 20.3 points and 10.1 rebounds.
He scored 21, but the Nets held him to 7-of-16 shooting and just four boards.
And the Nets defense smothered the sorry Spurs to .396 percent shooting, and 11-of-34 from behind the arc.
They turned abysmal entry passes into turnovers and fast breaks the other way.
Schröder took care of the rest, helping the Nets build a 28-point cushion.
Cam Thomas had a game-high 25 points and four assists, Simmons added a season-high 13 points and center Nic Claxton (20 points, 11 rebounds) had his fifth 20/10 performance of the season.