NBA standings: Seeding scenarios, breakdown for final spots in 2020 playoffs

Sporting News

Brace yourselves, basketball fans. The 2020 NBA playoffs are almost here.

Heading down the final stretch of the regular season, there isn't much mystery about which teams will reach the postseason. Barring a major losing streak by the Nets or Magic, the Eastern Conference has its eight participants in place. The top seven teams in the Western Conference should all earn playoff berths soon, but the race for the last spot could come down to a few key games in late March and early April.

MORE: Latest standings | Daily NBA schedule

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

There should still be a bit of drama with the seedings in flux and contenders fighting for playoff position. A good matchup could be the difference between cruising through the first round or facing elimination sooner than expected.

Here's a snapshot of the current NBA playoff picture, including standings and potential matchups for each conference.

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

NBA playoff picture: Seeding breakdowns

(Remaining strength of schedule via Tankathon and playoff probability via FiveThirtyEight)

Eastern Conference

1. Bucks

Remaining games: 17

Remaining strength of schedule: .502

Playoff probability: In

2. Raptors

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .512

Playoff probability: In

3. Celtics

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .494

Playoff probability: In

4. Heat

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .484

Playoff probability: 99 percent

5. Pacers

Remaining games: 17

Remaining strength of schedule: .503

Playoff probability: 99 percent

6. 76ers

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .450

Playoff probability: 99 percent

7. Nets

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .507

Playoff probability: 98 percent

8. Magic

Remaining games: 17

Remaining strength of schedule: .467

Playoff probability: 99 percent

Still in play: Wizards (two percent)

Western Conference

1. Lakers

Remaining games: 19

Remaining strength of schedule: .471

Playoff probability: In

2. Clippers

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .465

Playoff probability: 99 percent

3. Nuggets

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .537

Playoff probability: 99 percent

4. Jazz

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .515

Playoff probability: 99 percent

5. Thunder

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .501

Playoff probability: 99 percent

6. Rockets

Remaining games: 18

Remaining strength of schedule: .492

Playoff probability: 99 percent

7. Mavericks

Remaining games: 16

Remaining strength of schedule: .537

Playoff probability: 99 percent

8. Grizzlies

Remaining games: 17

Remaining strength of schedule: .575

Playoff probability: 15 percent

Still in play: Pelicans (60 percent), Trail Blazers (14 percent), Kings (nine percent), Spurs (two percent)

What to read next