Magic Johnson: Lonzo Ball is Lakers' starting PG

Magic Johnson: Lonzo Ball is Lakers' starting PG

Magic Johnson: Lonzo Ball is Lakers' starting PG

Isaiah Thomas will come off the bench when he makes his Los Angeles Lakers debut ‪Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks, league sources told ESPN.

Ball is hopeful that he will play soon, but his return to action and his status for the Rising Stars Challenge game during All-Star weekend remains uncertain.

Ball has missed eleven games for the Lakers and his injury could cost him an appearance at the Rising Star's Challenge during All-Star weekend on February 16. It was a surprise, but at the same time, I am happy to have a new start. I think those guys were a pretty significant plus for the game, which is a positive.

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Coming off the surgery, Thomas is clearly not all the way back to where he was.

The team initially expected their No. 2 draft pick to miss just three weeks after he was diagnosed with an MCL sprain, which typically takes one to three weeks to recover. ". I thought it was going to be dealt with quicker, but obviously my body didn't react to it that well". The 25-year old combo guard played his college ball at Tulsa and Missouri.

The coach's mindset, though, should not distract away from the fact that the Lakers are playing playoff level basketball, beating playoff teams and are back, barely and briefly though it may be, in the playoff picture. Ball also reportedly felt some pain in the knee recently and it feels like the Lakers aren't going to put him on the court until he's 100 percent pain free. Last week in Toronto, Ball felt "something" when he tried to do more, and the team backed the rookie off a bit. "Definitely past that point now, so it's a good thing". "Let's say he's ready to play ... the last game (before the break, February 15 in Minnesota) ..." In the first match up about a month ago, the Lakers beat the Mavs in overtime but DSJ outscored Lonzo 23-9.

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