At five games below .500 with 17 games left in the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers effectively have no hope of making the playoffs in the Western Conference. It will be the first time since 2005 that LeBron James sits at home during the NBA playoffs, but there are still marquee games left to play before the team enters the offseason.

The Lakers are hosting the Boston Celtics, led by former James teammate Kyrie Irving, on Saturday night. ABC is showing the game nationally, as it may have once seemed like a big late-season matchup between championship contenders. But with nothing left to play for, will James suit up?

The answer is yes, but with a major caveat. The Lakers have placed a minutes restriction on James for the final stretch of the regular season to preserve his health for next season.

That means James will be limited to around 28 to 32 minutes per night, compared to his season average of 35.6 minutes per game. Anyone who wants to see the man who has played in eight straight NBA Finals before this season may need to savor every moment, as his on-court time will be limited to finish the season.

That will, of course, dampen the excitement of a matchup between James and Irving. The two players are only three years removed from when they helped take down a 73-win Golden State Warriors team in the Finals, but they have since gone their separate ways.

Irving went to the Celtics to lead his own team, which has come with its own trials and tribulations. James went to the Lakers to hopefully contend for more championships in a bigger market, but will miss the playoffs for just the third time in his illustrious career.

Boston is a 4.5-point road favorite in this game, according to OddsShark. The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

lebron jim LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates after passing Michael Jordan and moving to #4 on the NBA's all-time scoring list during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on March 06, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images