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Lakers vs. Thunder Game Preview: Finally, basketball is BACK ... in Oklahoma

The Lakers are back in action. Finally, sheesh.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Los Angeles Lakers in action, but the show is back on the road after a long All-Star break. The team doesn’t look dramatically different — on the court at least — but the feel could be strange down the final stretch of the NBA season.

Losing Lou Williams should hypothetically hurt the Lakers’ chances of winning any game, and their battle of dealing with that for the remaining 24 games begins Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

No pressure, kids. Pay no mind to the fact that new President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson will be in the building, too. Now go stop Russell Westbrook!

Jokes aside, it’s nice to have some actual basketball to watch again. Sure, watching the Lakers has become a disappointing experience after such a promising start, but it’s better than staring at Twitter all day while hoping the Lakers find a way to turn their best scorer into a future draft pick.

For the most part.

The interesting bit in all of this is, even with the Lakers’ cleaning house in the front office, it’s unlikely to have an immediate effect on how the team performs through the remainder of the season. How Johnson handles the roster through this final stretch, and what insight he feels he can glean, are keys for him heading into his first offseason with the Lakers.

Playing with their heads up and trying to make the most of what little remains of their season is the next challenge ahead for the kids and heavy contracts of Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov. Day 1 of the Magic Johnson era begins Friday night.

Enjoy the game, and welcome back, hoops. We missed you.

Time: 5 p.m. PT

TV: Spectrum SportsNet

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