How does Isaiah Thomas play on Lakers debut? All-Star makes NBA return on Friday

Isaiah Thomas made the most of his return to the NBA, even if the outcome of the game didn’t go as planned for the Lakers.

The 32-year-old keeper’s road back began last week when he signed with the Denver Nuggets’ G League affiliate, Grand Rapids Gold, to prove he still belongs in the NBA. It didn’t take long for him to get the recognition he was looking for, scored 42 points on his debut in G League on Thursday to inform scouts, coaches, executives and players.

Just a day later, due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on more than a handful of NBA rosters, it was reported that Thomas would sign a short-term contract with the Lakers for 10 days, giving him a well-deserved opportunity to try and get back into the league.

THAN: What is a 10-day arduous contract?

His path to game time was slightly impacted when star defender Russell Westbrook was reactivated just a day after being placed on the COVID-19 list due to negative tests, but it turns out , Thomas still has more than enough minutes to show what he is. likely in a reduced role.

For more information on the two-time All-Star return to the NBA, we’ve got you covered below.

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How does Isaiah Thomas play on Lakers debut?

Even though the Lakers struggled against the Timberwolves, Thomas still made his impact.

In 22 minutes on the field from the bench, Thomas scored 19 points, shot 5/12 from the field, 2 points 6 from 3 points and 7 points 9 from the free throw.

According to StatMuse, only Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk have scored more points in a single game coming off the bench for the Lakers this season.

What’s the biggest difference this IT release has from the ones we saw with the Wizards in 2019-20 and the Pelicans (in three games on a 10-day contract) last season? Looking much healthier since fully recovering from a serious hip injury, he’s taken his first step back quickly, hitting the basket regularly instead of just focusing on the outside jumpers.

His first bucket was a plane floating in the lane — a key shot to have in the arsenal for a 5-foot-9-tall sentinel — and he took down a few of them along the way. night.

His nine free throws are the most he’s had in a game since December 19, 2019 against the Wizards, proving that he’s back to attacking the belt like his All-Star days.

In this 10-day contract, Thomas’ job is to eat minutes on the bench and become a professional goalscorer. He also had two goals, an assist and a “block” (actually a steal), scoring +/- of minus one, which is the highest score by any Lakers player to play more than 20 minutes.

It’s great to see Thomas back in the NBA and it’s even better to see him fit in like he never left.

What did Isaiah Thomas say on Lakers debut?

It’s been a long journey back to the league for the former All-NBA guard and after the game he offered some heartfelt and insightful quotes about his return.

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Thomas said, “My bad moments are just not being able to play at the level I’m used to playing at. Like, it’s very annoying when your mind is telling you to do something but your body. you don’t let you do it.

“It was my first major injury, like basketball was everything to me, so it really took me away. … It was some of the worst moments of my life. I.”

Thomas continued, “Obviously in ’17 my sister passed away and then it was like things were going downhill. But I relied on my support system, which was my family.

“The hardest moment for me? When I checked into the game and they were really cheering for me. And this was an away game. Those moments mean more to me than anything. , just because people respect what I do and people respect the training that I ‘Second.

“This whole situation, I’m so grateful for it. I never thought I would… not say I don’t think I’ll be back in the NBA, I just never thought I’d feel like this. Like, I have no limits with my body, with my hips, and that’s why I just smile a lot because I’m in a great place mentally and a great place physically.”

Thomas and the Lakers return to action on Sunday, December 19 against the Chicago Bulls.

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