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Lakers vs. Mavericks Preview: Welcome back, basketball

The Lakers are headed back to the hardwood.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The first game that the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks played against each other this season was a memorable one.

With less than six seconds left on the clock, LeBron James drove two defenders into the paint and kicked the ball out to Danny Green in the corner, who drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to tie the game at 103-103. The Lakers then went on to win the game 119-110 in overtime thanks to the overwhelmingly star power of LeBron James and Anthony Davis over the final five minutes.

The Lakers and Mavericks have played two games since then, and the series currently stands at 2-1 in Los Angeles’ favor. However, the last game they played was in December, and it should go without saying, but a lot has happened since then — both on and off the court.

Still, their scrimmage game on Thursday promises to be exciting, if for no other reason than it’s the first game both teams have played since March.

Projected Lakers Starters

PG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — Frank Vogel has continuously hinted he will start

SG: Danny Green

SF: LeBron James

PF: Anthony Davis

C: JaVale McGee

Given how much the “new” starting lineup has already played together this season, there’s not too much mystery when it comes to the starters outside of seeing what kind of shape they’re all in.

The real intrigue for this game starts with the second unit, where the team’s newest signings — J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters — will likely get some playing time. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see Talen Horton-Tucker get some run with how much buzz has surrounded his performance during the team’s mini training camp.

The most significant thing about this game though, is that for the first time in months, Lakers basketball is back on our televisions. This game ultimately may not have any serious implications beyond that, especially when you consider how long it’s been since both teams have played, but it will give Vogel an opportunity to see which of his new players work in what units. If the Lakers come out with a win, that’s just a plus.

The Lakers will tip off against Dallas at 4:00 p.m. PST, and the game will be televised locally on Spectrum SportsNet and nationally on NBA TV.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.

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