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NBA playoff picture, standings: Bracket, matchups as Knicks drop below top four, Warriors win fifth straight

Written by on April 3, 2024

The NBA playoffs are almost here. Less than two weeks remain in the regular season, and the postseason is set to begin April 16 with the Play-In Tournament. The playoffs get started April 20. The playoff picture is coming into focus (13 teams have already clinched postseason sports), but 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 Golden State Warriors went a long way toward securing at least the No. 10 seed and final Play-In Tournament spot with their win over the Mavericks and Houston’s loss Minnesota on Tuesday. Golden State, which has won five straight, leads the Rockets by three games with seven to play. The Warriors also own the tiebreaker, which makes the lead an effective four games with one head-to-head matchup remaining on Thursday. 

Also on Tuesday, the Nuggets moved back atop the Western Conference standings with their win over San Antonio and OKC’s loss to Philadelphia, and the Knicks fell to No. 5 in the East with their loss to Miami. 

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) Nuggets vs. (8) Kings/Suns/Lakers/Warriors
(2) Timberwolves vs. (7) Kings/Suns
(3) Thunder 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) Magic vs. (5) Knicks

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. Denver Nuggets (53-23)

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

2. Minnesota Timberwolves (52-23)

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

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (52-23)

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

4. Los Angeles Clippers (47-28)

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

5. Dallas Mavericks (45-30)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (1), playoff spot (7)
  • 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 (45-30)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (1), playoff spot (7)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Kings: Pelicans have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Suns: Suns have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Dallas currently owns via division win percentage

PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT

7. Sacramento Kings (44-31)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (2)
  • 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 (44-31)

  • Magic Numbers: Play-In spot (2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans: Suns have 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

9. Los Angeles Lakers (43-33)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (3)
  • 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 (41-34)

  • Magic Number: Play-In spot (4)
  • 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 (38-37)

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

EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

1. Boston Celtics (59-16)

  • Clinched: No. 1 seed
  • Magic Number: Best overall record (4)

2. Milwaukee Bucks (47-28)

  • 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 (46-30)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (3)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Bucks: Bucks lead via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Knicks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Magic: Magic currently own via division leader

4. Orlando Magic (44-31)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (5)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cavs: Magic currently own via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Knicks: Magic clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Pacers: Magic clinched

5. New York Knicks (44-31)

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

6. Indiana Pacers (43-33)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Magic Number: Playoff spot (6)
  • 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 (42-33)

  • 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 (41-35)

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

9. Chicago Bulls (36-40)

  • Clinched: Play-In spot
  • Tiebreaker vs. Hawks: Bulls clinched

10. Atlanta Hawks (35-40)

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

The post NBA playoff picture, standings: Bracket, matchups as Knicks drop below top four, Warriors win fifth straight first appeared on CBS Sports.


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