Despite the loss, there were a few bright spots and a lot of bad things for the Lakers.
After trading Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a draft pick, everyone was expecting change from the Los Angeles Lakers.
And change did happen.
Isaiah Thomas, who went from a starter with the Boston Celtics to a role player with the Cleveland Cavaliers and now, a backup point guard with the Lakers, has said that he felt he regained his "powers" back now that he's playing for the Purple and Gold.
Unfortunately, IT's stellar debut didn't go as smooth as IT and the Lakers planned as they lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 130-123. The win enabled the Mavs to improve to 18-38 in the season as this is only their 3rd win in their last 10 games. On the other hand, the Lakers failed to sustain the momentum they have gathered during the first two months of 2018 as they fell to 23-32 in the season.
However, there are some things that we need to look and appreciate because whether we like it or not, this has been the best the Lak4ers have gotten over the past few seasons especially after Kobe Bryant retired. Below are the Good and the Bad things that the Lakers did against the Mavs:
The Good Ones
Many people knew that Isaiah Thomas should have been a starter for the Lakers with the rookie, Lonzo Ball still out but it seems that IT was doing just fine coming off the bench. In his first game since getting traded by the Cavs, Thomas scored 22 points on a 7 for 12 field goal shooting. He also went 4 for 8 from beyond the three-point line. He also had 6 assists and a steal. Like it or not, this was Thomas' best game this season. It makes us wonder: why did he struggle with the Cavs again?
Another positive note that we should notice is that the continuous improvement of Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram. Against Dallas, Randle had 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists while going 10 for 14 from the field. Ingram, on the other hand, chipped 22 points on 9 for 16 shooting including 4 for 5 from deep.
The Bad and Ugly Ones
Turnovers. Turnovers played a major in the Lakers' defeat at the hands of Dirk Nowitzki and company. As a team, the Lakers turned the ball over, 17 times which the Mavs converted to 15 points on the other end. Isaiah Thomas had 6 of those turnovers while Randle had 5. The only good side from this is that the Lakers were the better team in terms of scoring more off those Dallas turnovers as Los Angeles scored 29 turnover points.
Given how close the final score was, missed free throws also played a big role in the Lakers' failure to sustain their 2018 run as they only went 15 for 22 from the line, a 68% free throw shooting.
While Isaiah Thomas did a stellar job in his debut with the Purple and Gold, we have yet to see him play alongside Lonzo Ball because according to Luke Walton, he plans to start both IT and Ball at the backcourt once Lonzo is healthy. While chemistry could play a major factor here, this could dictate whether or not Isaiah Thomas will remain a Laker after this season because if you are listening to the rumors, one of the supposed reasons why Isaiah Thomas was traded to the Lakers was that to keep LeBron James from signing with the Lakers.