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NBA standings, playoff picture: Current bracket, matchups as Mavericks move above Kings, Knicks slip to No. 5

The NBA playoffs are almost here. Less than a month remains in the regular season, with the postseason set to begin on April 16 with the Play-In Tournament. The playoffs get started April 20. While it seems likely we know the 20 NBA teams that are going to qualify for the postseason, there is plenty to be decided in the regular season’s closing weeks. Seeding, home-court advantage and the chance to avoid the Play-In Tournament are all on the line between now and April 14.

So what’s the latest in the NBA’s playoff picture? After defeating the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, the Orlando Magic jumped the Knicks into the East’s No. 4 seed. As for the Pelicans, they remain as the West’s No. 5 seed, but they’re holding their organizational breath waiting for results on Brandon Ingram’s MRI. Ingram exited the game vs. Orlando with a scary-looking knee injury

Also making a move on Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks are the West’s new No. 6 seed after they defeated the Jazz and the Kings took a disastrous loss to the Wizards

As a reminder, the NBA’s Play-In Tournament will determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in both conferences. Four teams in each conference (the 7-10 seeds) will enter the Play-In Tournament, while the top six seeds will automatically qualify for playoff spots. The seventh- and eighth-placed teams will face each other for the No. 7 seed. The ninth- and 10th-placed teams will face each other in another game, and then the loser of the No. 7/No. 8 game will face the winner of the No. 9/No. 10 game for the No. 8 seed.

For the remainder of the season, this will be your one-stop shop playoff picture. We’ve got you covered on everything from the current standings to tiebreaker scenarios and magic numbers for both play-in spots and top-six seeds. 

Here’s where we stand entering play on Wednesday, March 20.

Playoff bracket if the season ended today…

West
(1) Thunder vs. (8) Suns/Kings/Lakers/Warriors
(2) Nuggets vs. (7) Suns/Kings
(3) Timberwolves vs. (6) Mavericks
(4) Clippers vs. (5) Pelicans

East
(1) Celtics vs. (8) Heat/76ers/Bulls/Hawks
(2) Bucks vs. (7) Heat/76ers
(3) Cavaliers vs. (6) Pacers
(4) Magic vs. (5) Knicks

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (48-20)

  • Clinched: Play-in spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Denver: OKC has clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Minnesota: OKC currently owns as division leader

2. Denver Nuggets (49-21)

  • Clinched: Play-in spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (4)
  • Tiebreaker vs. OKC: OKC has clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Minnesota: Tied 1-1 with two to play

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (47-22)

  • Magic Numbers: Play-In spot (1), Playoff spot (7)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Denver: Tied 1-1 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. OKC: OKC currently owns as division leader

4. Los Angeles Clippers (43-25)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans: Pelicans have clinched

5. New Orleans Pelicans (42-27)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (6)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento: Pelicans have clinched

6. Dallas Mavericks (41-29)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (7)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento: Kings lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix: Mavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State: Mavs lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Mavs clinched

PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT

7. Phoenix Suns (41-29)

  • Magic Numbers: Play-In spot (9)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento: Tied 2-2 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Mavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State: Suns clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Lakers clinched

8. Sacramento Kings (40-29)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (8)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Kings lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix: Tied 2-2 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State: Kings lead via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Kings have clinched

9. Los Angeles Lakers (37-32)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (11)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State: Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix: Lakers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Mavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento: Kings clinched

10. Golden State Warriors (36-32)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (13)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento: Kings lead via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Mavs lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix: Suns clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play

IN THE HUNT

11. Houston Rockets (34-35)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Rockets lead via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Warriors clinched

EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. Boston Celtics (55-14)

  • Clinched: Top-three seed or better
  • Magic Numbers: Top-two seed (1), No. 1 seed (3)

2. Milwaukee Bucks (45-25)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (6)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cleveland: Bucks lead via division leader

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (43-26)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (9)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Milwaukee: Bucks lead via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. New York: Cavs clinched

4. Orlando Magic (42-28)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (9)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New York: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Indiana: Magic clinched

5. New York Knicks (41-28)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (10)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cleveland: Cavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Orlando: Magic clinched

6. Indiana Pacers (39-31)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (1)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Orlando: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia: Pacers clinched

PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT

7. Miami Heat (38-31)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Indiana: Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia: Miami leads 2-1 with one to play

8. Philadelphia 76ers (38-31)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Indiana: Pacers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Miami leads 2-1 with one to play

9. Chicago Bulls (34-36)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (6)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Atlanta: Bulls clinched

10. Atlanta Hawks (30-39)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (10)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Chicago: Bulls clinched

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