NBA standings: Seeding scenarios, breakdown ahead of 2022 Playoffs, Play-In Tournament

The NBA Playoffs are fast approaching, but almost nothing is settled with fewer than 15 games remaining on each team’s regular-season schedule.

It feels safe to say the Suns will be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference bracket, but the rest of the West is up in the air. The Eastern Conference, meanwhile, could see shifts in seedings every day, as multiple teams are bunched together in the standings.

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The one thing we do know? The final stretch of the regular season should provide plenty of entertainment.

Here’s a snapshot of the current NBA Playoff picture, including the full standings for each conference.

NBA standings 2022: Eastern Conference

(Current through March 21 games)

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Heat 47-25
2. 76ers 44-27 2.5
3. Bucks 44-27 2.5
4. Celtics 45-28 2.5
5. Bulls 42-29 4.5
6. Cavaliers 41-31 6
7. Raptors 40-32 7
8. Nets 38-34 9
9. Hornets 37-35 10
10. Hawks 35-36 11.5
Wizards 30-41 16.5
Knicks 30-41 16.5
Pacers 25-47 22.0
Pistons 19-53 28
Magic 19-53 28

*clinched NBA Playoff berth
**clinched NBA Play-In berth
Eliminated from NBA Playoff contention: Magic, Pacers, Pistons

NBA standings 2022: Western Conference

(Current through March 21 games)

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Suns* 58-14
2. Grizzlies 49-23 9
3. Warriors 47-24 10.5
4. Jazz 45-27 13
5. Mavericks 44-28 14
6. Nuggets 42-30 16
7. Timberwolves 42-31 16.5
8. Clippers 36-37 22.5
9. Lakers 31-41 27
10. Pelicans 30-42 28
Spurs 28-44 30
Trail Blazers 27-44 30.5
Kings 25-48 33.5
Thunder 20-52 38
Rockets 18-54 40

*clinched NBA Playoff berth
**clinched NBA Play-In berth

Eliminated from NBA Playoff contention: Rockets

NBA Playoff matchups 2022

Here’s what the NBA Playoff matchups would be if the regular season ended today:

Eastern Conference

(1) Heat vs. (8) Play-In Winner

(2) 76ers vs. (7) Play-In Winner

(3) Bucks vs. (6) Cavaliers

(4) Celtics vs. (5) Bulls

Western Conference

(1) Suns vs. (8) Play-In Winner

(2) Grizzlies vs. (7) Play-In Winner

(3) Warriors vs. (6) Nuggets

(4) Jazz vs. (5) Mavericks

NBA Play-In Tournament matchups 2022

Here’s what the NBA Play-In Tournament matchups would be if the regular season ended today:

Eastern Conference

(7) Raptors vs. (8) Nets

(9) Hornets vs. (10) Hawks

Western Conference

(7) Timberwolves vs. (8) Clippers

(9) Lakers vs. (10) Pelicans

How does the NBA Play-In Tournament work?

  • The NBA Play-In Tournament will be held after the conclusion of the 2021-22 regular season and before the start of the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The teams that finish Nos. 1-6 in the standings of each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots. Teams Nos. 7-10 will enter the Play-In Tournament.
  • Each conference’s Nos. 7 and 8 teams will face off, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser will still have one more opportunity to reach the playoffs.
  • Each conference’s Nos. 9 and 10 teams will face off, with the winner advancing to play the loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game. The loser of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game will be eliminated from playoff contention.
  • The loser of the No. 7-vs.-No. 8 game and the winner of the No. 9-vs.-No. 10 game will then play against each other. The winner of that game will be the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. The loser will be eliminated from playoff contention.
  • Beyond the Play-In Tournament, the 2022 NBA Playoffs will follow the typical format, with full best-of-seven series all the way through the NBA Finals.

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