NBA Playoff Schedule 2020: Odds, TV, Live-Stream Guide for Saturday's Games

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 29, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) and forward LeBron James (23) celebrates a play during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The NBA playoffs return to action Saturday after players paused the postseason for three days to protest against systemic racism and police brutality.

The three-game slate features each conference's top seed going for a series win, while the fourth-seeded Houston Rockets and fifth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder will break their 2-2 tie.

We'll get to all the particulars—including broadcast info and the latest lines from Vegas Insider—below and then predict how the action will play out.


Saturday, Aug. 29 NBA Playoff Schedule and Odds

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Orlando Magic

Series: Bucks lead Magic 3-1

Time: 3:30 p.m. ET


Live Stream: SPN

Latest Line: Bucks -13.5


Western Conference

No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Oklahoma City Thunder

Series: Rockets and Thunder tied 2-2

Time: 6:30 p.m. ET


Live Stream: Watch TNT

Latest Line: Rockets -5


No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers

Series: Lakers lead Blazers 3-1

Time: 9 p.m. ET


Live Stream: Watch TNT

Latest Line: Lakers -13.5



Bucks vs. Magic

After an uninspired stretch during the seeding round, the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks needed a wake-up call. Apparently, a series-opening loss to the Orlando Magic did the trick.

Milwaukee is 3-0 since, and all three games have been decided by double digits (two by 15 points, the other by 14). To make matters even worse for Orlando, the Bucks haven't hit their stride.

Reigning MVP and recently crowned Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo is predictably running wild (31.3 points, 15.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game). But his All-Star running mate, Khris Middleton, is averaging just 13.5 points on 33.9 percent shooting in this series. Starting point guard Eric Bledsoe has a dead even plus/minus over 103 minutes. Second-team spark plug Donte DiVincenzo can't find his touch (39.1/14.3/62.5 shooting).

The Magic, meanwhile, might be running on fumes. They lost Jonathan Isaac to a torn ACL in the seeding round, and Aaron Gordon recently exited the bubble because of a hamstring injury and "events of past few days on campus," per Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic. Other than a red-hot Nikola Vucevic (29.5 points on 54.7/44.1/100 shooting), the Magic don't have much going in their favor.

The Bucks should have everything they need to put this series to rest Saturday.

Prediction: Bucks 121, Magic 108


Rockets vs. Thunder

Arguably the best series of the first round just added another layer of excitement. Rockets All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is reportedly set to make his playoff debut after missing the first four contests with a quad injury, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Westbrook went through his first full-speed, five-on-five scrimmage Thursday and looked "as explosive as ever," per ESPN's Tim MacMahon and Adrian Wojnarowski.

Putting a healthy Westbrook alongside James Harden could be exactly what Houston needs to take control of this series. James Harden has carried a heavy offensive burden (and used it to average 32.0 points and 8.8 assists in 37.6 minutes per night), and the Rockets haven't always supplied consistency from the supporting cast. Their second-leading scorer, Eric Gordon, is shooting just 38.2 percent (20.6 from three) in the series.

Saying that, counting out OKC has been a bad bet for most of this season. And after falling into an 0-2 hole, the Thunder rallied to take Games 3 and 4 behind 76 combined points per game from their three-headed perimeter monster of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder.

While our crystal ball sees Westbrook as the ultimate difference, it also has the Thunder making the Rockets sweat until the end.

Prediction: Rockets 117, Thunder 113


Lakers vs. Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers' clock seemed to be ticking beyond the team's control. After the Blazers shocked everyone—save for Charles Barkley—with a Game 1 win, the Los Angeles Lakers' elite began to shine as Hollywood stars are wont to do.

Anthony Davis drew first blood with 31 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers' 111-88 win in Game 2. LeBron James snagged the spotlight with 38 points, 12 boards and eight dimes in the club's 116-108 Game 3 victory. In Game 4, a 135-115 romp, James packed 30 points and 10 assists into 28 minutes, while Davis needed just 18 minutes to compile a game-best plus-37.

Momentum, in other words, was backing the Purple and Gold. So maybe this series was nearing its expiration anyway, but Damian Lillard's departure from the bubble for further examination of his sprained knee sealed their fate.

The Blazers, who are already without Rodney Hood and Zach Collins, don't have a great defensive option for James or Davis even when they are full strength. This version, which also has CJ McCollum playing through a fracture in his back, doesn't have enough offense to keep up.

Prediction: Lakers 114, Blazers 103