NBA Playoffs to Continue, Thursday Games Suspended Amid Player Strike

The NBA has postponed the three playoff games which were scheduled to take place Thursday, as players continue to strike in light of protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake, Variety has confirmed.

However, the season is not officially over, as multiple outlets are reporting that players have voted to resume the playoffs at a later, as-yet-undecided date.

The three Thursday games were between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz, the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors, and the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks.

The Milwaukee Bucks began the player strikes on Wednesday, refusing to take the court ahead of their Game 5 playoff match against the Orlando Magic. The Los Angles Lakers, Portland Trailblazers, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder also refused to participate in their games on Wednesday night.

The NBA released a statement on Wednesday, indicating that the playoff games will be rescheduled.

“The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games — Bucks vs. Magic, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers — have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.”

The strikes come after days of protests in major cities over the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wis. Blake was shot seven times by a police officer on Aug. 23 as he was trying to get into his car, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting was caught on video, quickly leading to protests in cities around the country. Those protests have resulted in two people being killed, and one being seriously injured in multiple shootings.

Previously, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to temporarily suspend all games in mid March. By late July, the season had restarted in Orlando, with teams staying in a “bubble” to keep themselves safe from possible contamination.

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