Details are still being finalized but it's looking likely that Game 5 of the Lakers' first-round series against the Trail Blazers will be on Saturday.— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) August 27, 2020
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN confirmed the report:
There is still a discussion ongoing among players about the timing of a playoff resumption -- with an expectation that a Saturday return of games will be finalized later today, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
The game was originally scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, but the players from the Lakers and Trail Blazers decided to sit out of the game as a way to protest racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. After multiple meetings, players have since voted to resume the NBA playoffs.
The Lakers won Game 4 against the Trail Blazers 135-115, which gave them a 3-1 lead in the series. With a win on Saturday, they’ll advance to the Western Conference semifinals to play the Houston Rockets or Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets and Thunder are currently tied at two games a piece in their series. Ironically, the last time the Lakers made the Western Conference semifinals was in 2011, when they lost to the Thunder in five games.
Damian Lillard won’t be available for the Trail Blazers, as he left the Orlando campus on Thursday to undergo further testing on his injured right knee in Orlando. Zach Collins will also be inactive due to an hairline medial malleolus stress fracture in his left ankle that will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Lakers weren’t expected to have Rajon Rondo for Game 5, but his status could change before Saturday. Everyone else is expected to be available.
From an off-the-court perspective, t’s unclear what exactly will have changed by the next time the Lakers take the floor, but it’s safe to assume that players are optimistic that their conversation with team owners on Thursday will be productive. Otherwise, reporting a tentative date for the resumption is meaningless.