Thursday, April 18, 2024
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NBA standings, playoff picture: Bracket, matchups, tiebreakers as Warriors strengthen grip on No. 10 seed

The NBA playoffs are almost here. With less than two weeks left in the regular season, the postseason is set to begin April 16 with the Play-In Tournament. The playoffs get started April 20. While we know most of the 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? The Warriors can breathe a little easier as they extended their lead on the No. 10 seed and final Play-in spot to two games by virtue of their win over the Spurs and Houston’s loss to the Mavericks on Sunday.

At the top of the West, the Thunder moved back into the No. 1 spot, while Minnesota dopped to No. 3 after a tough loss to Chicago. Denver now occupies the West’s No. 2 seed, while the Suns are just one game up on the Lakers for the No. 8 seed, which comes with the big-time benefit of only having to win one of two Play-In games to earn a playoff spot as opposed to two straight as the No. 9 or 10 seed. 

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 Monday, April 1.

Playoff bracket if the season ended today…

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

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

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. Oklahoma City Thunder (52-22)

  • Clinched: Playoff spot
  • Magic Number: Top-four seed (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Nuggets: OKC has clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Wolves: Wolves currently own via division record

2. Denver Nuggets (52-23)

  • Clinched: Playoff spot
  • Magic Number: Top-4 seed (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Thunder: Thunder clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Wolves: Wolves clinched

3. Minnesota Timberwolves (51-23)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (1)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Nuggets: Wolves clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Thunder: Wolves currently own via division record

4. Los Angeles Clippers (47-27)

  • Clinched: Play-in spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Pelicans: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Clippers lead 2-0 with two to play

5. Dallas Mavericks (45-29)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans: Dallas currently owns via division win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Mavs lead via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Mavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Mavs lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Mavs clinched

6. New Orleans Pelicans (45-29)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Suns lead 1-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Dallas currently owns via division win percentage

PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT

7. Sacramento Kings (43-31)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Mavericks: Mavs lead via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Tied 2-2 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Kings lead via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Kings have clinched

8. Phoenix Suns (43-31)

  • Magic Numbers: Play-In spot (4)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Tied 2-2 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Mavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Suns clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Lakers clinched

9. Los Angeles Lakers (42-33)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Lakers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Mavs: Mavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Kings clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Rockets: Rockets lead via conference record

10. Golden State Warriors (40-34)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (7)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Kings lead via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Mavs: Mavs lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Suns clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Rockets: Warriors clinched

IN THE HUNT

11. Houston Rockets (38-36)

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

EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. Boston Celtics (58-16)

  • Clinched: No. 1 seed
  • Magic Number: Best overall record (5)

2. Milwaukee Bucks (47-27)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Bucks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Bucks lead via division leader

3. Cleveland Cavaliers (45-30)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (4)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Bucks: Bucks lead via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Knicks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Magic currently own via division leader

4. New York Knicks (44-30)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Bucks: Bucks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Knicks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Magic clinched

5. Orlando Magic (43-31)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (6)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Magic currently own via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Magic clinched

6. Indiana Pacers (42-33)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (7)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Heat: Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. 76ers: Pacers clinched

PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT

7. Miami Heat (41-33)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. 76ers: Miami leads 2-1 with one to play

8. Philadelphia 76ers (40-35)

  • Clinched: Play-in spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Pacers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Heat: Miami leads 2-1 with one to play

9. Chicago Bulls (36-39)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (1)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Hawks: Bulls clinched

10. Atlanta Hawks (34-40)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (3)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Bulls: Bulls clinched

Looking for more NBA coverage? John Gonzalez, Bill Reiter, Ashley Nicole Moss and special guests dive deep into the league’s biggest storylines daily on the Beyond the Arc podcast.

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