Things took a step toward normalcy for Zach Collins on Friday — he got to go into the Portland Trail Blazers facility and work out.
That doesn’t mean it was normal, Collins called it “different” speaking to Jason Quick of The Athletic. He compared it to a short summer workout, where the players bring their own gear then take it home with them.
The other thing that made Collins feel like things were getting back to normal was the players’ conference call with Adam Silver on Friday. It made the likelihood of a season feel more real.
“I feel confident after hearing him talk that we will play again — it just might not be for a while,” Collins said. “The way he was talking, there will be some kind of regular season — whether it’s a tournament or not as many games — there’s going to be something. There’s too many teams, especially in the West, that can make (the playoffs). And he was speaking like there is a lot of time to finish everything, so that was encouraging to hear.”
The idea of a handful of regular season games doesn’t sit well with all the owners — if their team is well out of the playoffs, why add the expense? — but some form of a play-in tournament seems to have legs. It’s not necessarily fair to a team such as Memphis, which had earned its playoff spot through the regular season, but Silver wants to get as many teams involved in the postseason as possible.
For Portland, the chance to be part of a play-in tournament would an incentive for the players, something the league needs to find a way to do.
That call, like that first workout, was a good first step.