Reason #1: The Lakers need a reliable offensive jolt to wake them up now.
The Lakers as presently constructed do not have an offense good enough to move past the first round of the playoffs. Their transition offense is fine but their half-court offense is atrocious.
The bad habits they have accumulated this season (i.e. standing around, jacking up the first shot available, dribbling the air out of the ball) are not going to be changed overnight.
But it only takes one player to reverse a bad trend. Isaiah Thomas is the man to make positive changes to the Lakers offense. Thomas is the conduit to keep the offense moving even when the game slows down.
And when the game slows down, this often happened…
To recap that possession, LeBron had the ball with the other four guys just standing around. AD tried to get the ball at the top of the key but the ball was deflected, which resulted in an easy dunk for Minnesota guard Malik Beasley.
The Lakers only ended up scoring 92 points that game. Isaiah Thomas scored 19 of those points in only 22 minutes of action.
So who else can wake up the Lakers offense? Isaiah Thomas is that spark to get them out of the traffic jam that is the Western Conference playoff picture.
As the sixth seed, they are perilously close to their doomsday scenario: finishing the season in the 7-10 seed range as they did last season.
If this happens, the Lakers have to win a play-in game and then face either Golden State (currently the #1 seed) or Phoenix (currently the #2 seed) in the first round of the playoffs.
If that happens, it’s a wrap on their title hopes.