Oklahoma City and Houston will continue battling to make it out of the first round on Saturday, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reported.
NBA schedule, Rockets-Thunder series to resume on Saturday, source said. https://t.co/jp1A9htlRL— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 28, 2020
There were real concerns that the season would be over after the boycott on Wednesday night. The shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot by police in Wisconsin, had hit home for many players within the Bubble. It was a tragedy and another reminder that the lives of Black people are incredibly fragile in America.
The players eventually decided to continue the playoffs on Thursday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported the news.
The NBA's players have decided to resume the playoffs, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2020
There should be no mistake made; the decision to return to play does not lessen the importance of what happened to Blake. The players will continue to fight for social reform that reduces racial discrimination.
On a basketball front, the series restarting on Saturday will mean that Russell Westbrook has had a few more days to recover from his quad injury. Before the scheduled game on Wednesday, Westbrook was listed as questionable by the Rockets’ medical staff.
Westbrook has practiced with the team over the last few days. It seems increasingly likely that he will make his entrance into this series.
According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Westbrook participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage Thursday, where he looked “explosive as ever.”
Story filed to ESPN: The Houston Rockets held an instrasquad scrimmage Thursday to get All-Star guard Russell Westbrook his first full-speed 5-on-5 action since he was diagnosed with a strained right quadriceps, sources told @wojespn— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) August 28, 2020
and I. Source: "Looked as explosive as ever."
On Saturday, look to Luguentz Dort giving James Harden a run for his money. Dort has been exceptional on Harden during this series so far. The Beard has shot just 23.5% on all field goals attempts when Dort has been the primary defender. Dort’s defense has harried and harangued Harden into taking bad looks.
The Rockets have been a good defensive team in the half court. Coach Elston Turner deserves a lot of credit for building a scheme that squeezes the floor and reduces the number of open looks that the defense gives up.
However, the Rockets are bad at defending in transition. Houston gave up 23.8 points per game in transition in the regular season. Houston also allowed the most transition field goal attempts (16.1 FGA) per game in the league.
No word yet on what time the game will tip-off.