IT scores 22 in Lakers’ debut, a loss at Dallas

Isaiah Thomas of the Lakers will have surgery on his right hip Thursday.

Isaiah Thomas has a knack for making impressive debuts with his new teams.

Just as he did when he played his first game as a Cleveland Cavalier, Thomas played well in his initial game as a Los Angeles Laker.

The 29-year-old two-time All-Star point guard, sent to LA along with Channing Frye and Cleveland’s 2018 first-round draft pick in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr., came off the bench for the Lakers in a 130-123 loss at Dallas on Saturday night. Frye did not play.

The 5-foot-9 Thomas had 22 points and six assists in 31 minutes, making seven of this dozen shots, including 4-of-8 from 3.

Afterward, he felt he added something to the Lakers (23-32), who lost for just the fifth time in their last 17 games.

“I wanted to bring something to the table,” Thomas said. “I felt like I got my powers back playing on this team.”

Despite Thomas’ impressive final stat line, he also finished with six turnovers and in the fourth quarter, he had more fouls (5) than points (4) and his team had its four-game winning streak snapped by a Dallas squad that is now just 18-38 on the season.

Still, Lakers coach Luke Walton believes Thomas’ addition will be beneficial to Los Angeles.

“He brings another dimension to what we have,” Walton said. “When he is able to control pick-and-rolls and get people shots, obviously we couldn’t run a ton of stuff because he has been with us for one day, but he was good.”

Thomas’ time in Cleveland lasted but 15 games before he was sent to the Lakers.

4 Comments on "IT scores 22 in Lakers’ debut, a loss at Dallas"

  1. I watched this game. Lakers pace and spacing and ball movement a much better fit for Isaiah. He was actually effective and the ball found him with some open looks. They screen better too so he could do more than in Cleveland.

    He also did a nice job of making Brook Lopez better. He was looking for and finding him in good situations. They were the only two with a non-negative +/-. So yeah, he was one of their best players last night.

    Defensively, he wasnt really that bad individually, it was more circumstancial. When he got isolated even on Dirk or on his man he held his own and played strong or a few times fouled if the guy got by him. His lateral looked a little better but he’s still not completely recovered from the injury (why I think Cavs made right decision). But his level of defense should not be exagerraged here, Rick Carlisle took advantage of it being his first game with a new team. On plays that it might have been a problem with Isiaiah the probablem was probably only 20% his defense and 80% te fact that Isaiah wasnt sure how his new team was defending those plays, trusting where to be. As he learns their system and how they D different situations and trusts teammates his D wont be as big of an issue. One on one D he can still get guys off rythm and cause the other team problems with his low base and strength, and you could see some od ghay last night on plays Dallas tried to iso him but failed to take a good shot on those plays.

    He is probably talking too much, and I dont know if I agree he got his powers back, but he was definitely more in rhythm and looked better with the Lakers in game 1 than he did in any of his 15 with the Cavs.

    Blame that on whoever you want, but that’s what I saw.

    • Hola, P.. I, too, watched the game and I came away with many of the same thoughts as you. IT’s frustrations with his physical limitations because of his hip, magnified by his inability to hit shots and, obviously, to play any kind of D made life uncomfortable for everyone. And, as you also mentioned, his willingness to speak out hurt him, too. While what he was saying was oftentimes accurate, he had not built enough cred with his new teammates to speak out as he did. Thanks very much for reading us!

  2. He’s their problem now.

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