When do the NBA playoffs start in 2020? Dates, TV schedule, updated standings & seeding scenarios

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With only a little over a month left in the 2019-20 NBA regular season, teams are still jockeying for playoff position.

The Bucks and Lakers appear to have the top spots locked down in their respective conferences, but the playoff seeds below them are very much up in the air.

Which NBA teams will clinch playoff berths as the regular season comes to a close? Check out the updated standings below along with potential playoff matchups.

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MORE: Latest standings | Daily NBA schedule

When do the 2020 NBA playoffs start?

  • Start date: Saturday, April 18

  • End date: Sunday, June 21

The last day of the 2019-20 NBA regular season is Wednesday, April 15. The 2020 NBA playoffs tip off three days later on Saturday, April 18.

The conference semifinals will begin May 4-5 (possible move up to May 2-3), and the conference finals will start May 19-20 (possible move up to May 17-18). The 2020 NBA Finals will begin June 4 and end no later than June 21.

NBA playoff schedule 2020

Playoff round

Start date

First round

April 18

Conference semifinals

May 4-5 (possible move up to May 2-3)

Conference finals

May 19-20 (possible move up to May 17-18)

NBA Finals

June 4 (last possible game June 21)

NBA playoff games will be carried by ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and TNT. The Eastern Conference finals will be shown on ESPN, and the Western Conference finals will be aired on TNT. ABC will broadcast all NBA Finals games.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

A total of 16 teams — eight from each conference — will participate in the NBA playoffs with the higher seed in each series holding home-court advantage. In the event both No. 1 seeds advance to the NBA Finals, the team with the better record will start the series at home.

Each series follows a best-of-seven (2-2-1-1-1) format, meaning the higher seed hosts Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 while the lower seed hosts Games 3, 4 and 6. The magic number for an NBA championship is 16 wins (four each round).

NBA standings 2020: Eastern Conference

Seed

Team

Record

Games back

1.

Bucks*

53-12

2.

Raptors*

46-18

6.5

3.

Celtics*

43-21

9.5

4.

Heat

41-24

12

5.

Pacers

39-26

14

6.

76ers

39-26

14

7.

Nets

30-34

22.5

8.

Magic

30-35

23

Wizards

24-40

28.5

Hornets

23-42

30

Bulls

22-43

31

Knicks

21-45

32.5

Pistons

20-46

33.5

Hawks

20-47

34

Cavaliers

19-46

34

*clinched playoff berth

NBA standings 2020: Western Conference

Seed

Team

Record

Games back

1.

Lakers*

49-14

2.

Clippers

44-20

5.5

3.

Nuggets

43-22

7

4.

Jazz

41-23

8.5

5.

Thunder

40-24

9.5

6.

Rockets

40-24

9.5

7.

Mavericks

40-27

11

8.

Grizzlies

32-33

18

Trail Blazers

29-37

21.5

Pelicans

28-36

21.5

Kings

28-36

21.5

Spurs

27-36

22

Suns

26-39

24

Timberwolves

19-45

30.5

*clinched playoff berth

Eliminated from playoff contention: Warriors

(Note: Full NBA rules for tiebreakers can be found HERE.)

NBA playoff matchups 2020

Here's what the NBA's first-round playoff matchups would be if the regular season ended today.

Eastern Conference

(1) Bucks vs. (8) Magic

(2) Raptors vs. (7) Nets

(3) Celtics vs. (6) 76ers

(4) Heat vs. (5) Pacers

Western Conference

(1) Lakers vs. (8) Grizzlies

(2) Clippers vs. (7) Mavericks

(3) Nuggets vs. (6) Rockets

(4) Jazz vs. (5) Thunder

Odds to win 2020 NBA championship

The top-seeded Lakers (+225) and Bucks (+275) are the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals, with the Clippers closely behind at +400.

Team

Odds

Lakers

+225

Bucks

+275

Clippers

+400

Celtics

+1200

Rockets

+1400

Raptors

+1600

Nuggets

+2000

76ers

+2500

Jazz

+2500

Mavericks

+3300

Heat

+3300

Thunder

+4000

Pacers

+5000

(Championship odds from BetOnline via Sports Insider)

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