Friday, May 24, 2024

NBA playoff picture, standings, bracket, matchups: Warriors, Lakers, Kings in three-way tie for No. 8 seed

The final week of the 2023-24 NBA regular season is here, and the postseason gets started next week. We know the 20 teams who have qualified for the postseason, but plenty of seeding is still up for grabs with just two nights of regular-season basketball to go. Eight teams have clinched a top-six seed so far. 

On Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans, currently No. 6 in the West, guaranteed themselves no worse than the No. 7 seed with their win over the Sacramento Kings, who are now locked into the Play-in round(s) with the loss. Also on Thursday, the Warriors jumped the Lakers into the No. 9 seed with their win over the Blazers, and are well within striking distance to overtake the Kings for the No. 8 seed, which would give them two shots at one win for a playoff spot rather than needing the two straight wins the No. 9 or 10 seed requires. 

Golden State, Sacramento and the Lakers are tied with two games each remaining, with the Kings having clinched the tiebreaker over both in a two-team tie scenario. In a three-team tie, the order would be Sac at No. 8, Golden State No. 9 and the Lakers No. 10. The Kings plays Phoenix and Portland, while the Warriors finish out with New Orleans and Utah. The Lakers close with the Grizzlies and Pelicans. 

Finally, the Knicks maintained their No. 3 seed, one back of No. 2 Milwaukee with two to play, with a win over the Celtics on Thursday. 

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 Friday, April 12.

Playoff bracket if the season ended today…

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

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


1. Denver Nuggets (56-24)

  • Clinched: Top-three seed
  • Magic number: No. 1 seed (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Thunder: Thunder clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Wolves: Wolves clinched

2. Minnesota Timberwolves (55-25)

  • Clinched: Top-three seed
  • Tiebreaker vs. Nuggets: Wolves clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Thunder: Wolves currently own via division record

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (55-25)

  • Clinched: Top-three seed
  • Tiebreaker vs. Nuggets: Thunder clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Wolves: Wolves currently own via division record

4. Los Angeles Clippers (51-29)

  • Clinched: Playoff spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Mavericks: Clippers clinched

5. Dallas Mavericks (50-30)

  • Clinched: Playoff spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers: Clippers clinched

6. New Orleans Pelicans (48-32)

  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Suns have clinched


7. Phoenix Suns (47-33)

  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans: Suns clinched
  • 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

8. Sacramento Kings (45-35)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Tied 2-2 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Kings lead via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Kings have clinched

9. Golden State Warriors (45-35)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Kings lead via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Suns clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers: Warriors clinched

10. Los Angeles Lakers (45-35)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Warriors: Warriors clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Lakers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Kings clinched


1. Boston Celtics (62-17)

  • Clinched: NBA’s best record

2. Milwaukee Bucks (49-31)

  • Clinched: Playoff spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Bucks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Bucks lead via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Tied 1-1 with two to play

3. New York Knicks (48-32)

  • Clinched: Playoff spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Bucks: Bucks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Knicks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Magic clinched

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (47-33)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (1)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Bucks: Bucks lead via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Knicks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Magic currently own via division leader

5. Orlando Magic (46-34)

  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Magic currently own via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. 76ers: 76ers clinched

6. Indiana Pacers (46-34)

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


7. Philadelphia 76ers (45-35)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Pacers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Heat: Miami leads via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: 76ers clinched

8. Miami Heat (44-36)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. 76ers: Miami leads via conference record

9. Chicago Bulls (38-42)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Hawks: Bulls clinched

10. Atlanta Hawks (36-44)

  • Tiebreaker vs. Bulls: Bulls clinched

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