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NBA play-in tournament 2024: Format, standings, dates, teams, and schedule

sbnation.com

NBA play-in tournament 2024: Format, standings, dates, teams, and schedule

The 2024 NBA Playoffs are around the corner, but the final 16 teams in the bracket won’t be set until the conclusion of the play-in tournament. The top-six teams in each conference will be locked into the bracket. The last two seeds in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference will be determined by the play-in tournament, which was fully implemented by the league in 2021 after experimenting with it inside the bubble a year earlier.

The play-in tournament has created more pinch points in the standings so teams can never take their foot off the gas. With only a few days left in the regular season, the No. 3 seed and No. 7 seed in the East are separated by only 2.5 games. In the West, there’s only 2.5 games separating the No. 6 seed from the No. 9 seed.

The play-in tournament is likely to feature the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors out West. The East could feature Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Miami Heat came out fo the play-in tournament to reach the NBA Finals last season, and the Heat will likely have to earn their way into the bracket the same way this season.

Here’s are the play-in tournament rules and format, and an updated look at the standings every day until it’s set.

The best thing about the NBA play-in tournament is how easy the format is to understand. Here’s how it works:

The No. 7 seed plays the No. 8 seed in each conference. The winner of that game gets the No. 7 seed in the playoff bracket, which means a matchup with the conference’s No. 2 seed.

The No. 9 seed plays the No. 10 seed in each conference. The loser of that game is eliminated. The winner plays the loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 seed game for the right to the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. The No. 8 seed faces the No. 1 seed in the official playoff bracket.

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Updated April 11, 2024

Eastern Conference

Top six seeds clinch a playoff spot

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers 47-33

No. 5 Orlando Magic 46-34

No. 6 Indiana Pacers 46-34

No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers 45-35 (1 game back of 6-seed)

No. 8 Miami Heat 44-36 (2 GB)

No. 9 Chicago Bulls 37-42

No. 10 Atlanta Hawks 36-44

Western Conference

No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans 47-32

No. 7 Phoenix Suns 47-33 (0.5 games back of 6-seed)

No. 8 Sacramento Kings 45-34 (2 games back)

No. 9 Los Angeles Lakers 45-35 (2.5 games back)

No. 10 Golden State Warriors 44-35 (3 games back)

Wednesday, April 16

No. 7 seed vs. No. 8 seed in Eastern Conference (winner gets No. 7 seed in NBA Playoffs)

No. 7 seed vs. No. 8 seed in Western Conference (winner gets No. 7 seed in NBA Playoffs)

Thursday, April 17

No. 9 seed vs. No. 10 seed in Eastern Conference

No. 9 seed vs. No. 10 seed in Western Conference

Saturday, April 19

Loser of 7-8 vs. Winner of 9-10 in the East (winner gets No. 8 seed in NBA Playoffs)

Loser of 7-8 vs. Winner of 9-10 in the West (winner gets No. 8 seed in NBA Playoffs)

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