Isaiah Thomas after Lakers debut: 'I felt like I got my powers back'

After a disappointing, and at times controversial 15-game stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Isaiah Thomas was dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers on deadline day in one of the Cavs’ many roster-altering moves.

Thomas made his debut for the Lakers on Saturday night in Dallas against the Mavericks. Although he came off the bench, it didn’t take Thomas long to get on the score sheet, as he knocked in a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter. He went on to finish with 22 points and six assists. And he was efficient, hitting seven of his 12 field-goal attempts. 

It wasn’t enough for the Lakers to get the win, but after the game, Thomas was pleased with how things went in his first game in purple and gold. “I felt like I got my powers back playing on this team,” Thomas told reporters. Via ESPN:

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

“I was shocked,” Thomas said of the trade. “It was a surprise, but at the same time, I am happy to have a new start, I am happy to be here with the Lakers, happy to be with a young team that is exciting, that likes to get up and down. That’s my style of play. I am here to help in any way possible. It’s a fresh start for me. I am excited.

He also noted that the Lakers remind him of the Celtics when he was first traded to Boston

“It kind of reminds me of the same situation when I got traded to Boston. It was a young team that was thinking rebuild, but we had some different thoughts than that, and we made a push to the playoffs. That is my job: to come to this team and bring that spirit, that fire, that killer’s mentality and just understand that we can take advantage of this opportunity that we have [the rest of] the season. It’s about winning, and it is about winning right now.”

Now six games out of the playoff race following Saturday night’s loss, Thomas is going to have to help the Lakers win quite a few games down the stretch if he wants to make a playoff push. 

Even though that is unlikely, it’s still important for Thomas to play well and help the Lakers for the remainder of the season. He’s set to be a free agent this summer, and after his struggled in Cleveland, Thomas will want to show teams he can still be a valuable player.