What would the NBA Playoff bracket look like if the season ended right now? The NBA Playoff picture is still highly competitive in both conferences.
NBA fans across the country are looking forward to another exciting postseasons. But with just a week of regular season action remaining, the NBA playoff picture still has a lot of working out to do.
There are 20 spots available for the postseason. Only six of those have been claimed. Four teams in the Eastern Conference are clinched. Just two in the Western Conference have officially punched their ticket to the playoffs. The play-in tournament places are wide open. Teams are crossing their fingers about getting injured stars back .
Here’s a look at the standings after a critical weekend of play and what the bracket would look like if the season ended now…
NBA Playoff picture if the season ended today
Eastern Conference standings
- Bucks (GB) -x
- Celtics (1.5) -x
- 76ers (4) -x
- Caveliers (6) -x
- Knicks (11.5)
- Nets (13.5)
- *Heat (13.5)
- *Hawks (16.5)
- *Raptors (16.5)
- *Bulls (17)
*Play-in tournament places
First-round NBA Playoff matchups in Eastern Conference
- No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Heat/Hawks/Raptors/Bulls
- No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 7 Heat/Hawks
- No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Brooklyn Nets
- No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 New York Knicks
On Sunday, the Cavaliers clinched their first playoff berth since 2018 and their first without LeBron James on the roster since 1998.
The Bulls have come on strong with seven wins in their last ten games to sit in the final play-in spot. They could climb higher at the rate they’re going.
Meanwhile, the Knicks and Nets have each struggled to end their respective slumps.
Western Conference Standings
- Nuggets (GB) -y
- Grizzlies (3) -y
- Kings (5)
- Suns (11)
- Clippers (11.5)
- Warriors (12)
- *Timberwolves (12.5)
- *Pelicans (13)
- *Lakers (13.5)
- *Thunder (13.5)
*Play-in tournament places
First-round NBA Playoff matchups in Western Conference
- No. 1 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 8 Timberwolves/Pelicans/Lakers/Thunder
- No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies vs. No. 7 Timberwolves/Pelicans
- No. 3 Sacramento Kings vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors
- No. 4 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 5 Los Angeles Clippers
The west is still wild, that’s for sure. The Nuggets and Grizzlies have clinched their respective divisions. The Kings are comfortably claiming the No. 3 seed. As for the rest? It’s been tight. Fourth place and 12th are separated by just four games. Every single game can impact the standings.
For instance, the game between the Warriors and Timberwolves on Sunday night could have seen the Warriors jump into fifth over the Clippers. Instead, Minnesota’s victory saw them move up the standings to No. 7 over the Pelicans and just half a game back of Golden State.
Check out The Step Back for more news, analysis, opinion and unique basketball coverage. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to our daily email newsletter, The Whiteboard .