NBA eastern conference playoff picture: Which teams have qualified?

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics - Game Seven
The NBA Eastern Conference playoff picture is clear (Image via Getty Images)

The Eastern Conference playoff picture is clear. With one day left in the 2022-23 regular season, all 15 teams from the conference will play. However, there is nothing left to determine.

Six teams in the East have secured a playoff spot and can't move up or down in the standings. Four teams will participate in the play-in tournament and these matchups have also been determined.

There are many amazing teams in the East who could have deep playoff runs and win the title. However, many of these teams still don't know their first-round opponent since it will be determined through the play-in tournament.


The Eastern Conference playoff picture has been set

The Milwaukee Bucks (58-23) and Boston Celtics (56-25) will discover their first-round matchups next week. The Bucks, who finished with the best record in the league, will play against the eighth-seeded team, while the Celtics will play against the team that finishes seventh.

The Philadelphia 76ers (53-38) will meet the Brooklyn Nets (45-36) in the first round in what should be a very interesting matchup. While the Sixers are the favorites to win the series, the Nets can be very dangerous with Mikal Bridges and other stars.

Besides the two teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers (51-30) and New York Knicks (47-34) will also meet in the opening round of the playoffs. Both teams have exceeded their expectations and the series could go to seven games.

The Cavaliers and the Knicks will meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs (Image via Getty Images)
The Cavaliers and the Knicks will meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs (Image via Getty Images)

What makes the Eastern Conference playoff picture interesting is the play-in tournament. The tournament will be very competitive and will feature several tough teams.

You may be interested in reading: NBA western conference playoff picture: Which teams have qualified?

The Miami Heat (43-38) will host the Atlanta Hawks (41-40) in the first play-in game on Tuesday. The winner of the matchup will advance to the playoffs and will meet the Boston Celtics in the first round, while the loser will have to play another play-in game.

The Heat will play against the Hawks in the play-in tournament (Image via Getty Images)
The Heat will play against the Hawks in the play-in tournament (Image via Getty Images)

The second Eastern Conference play-in matchup will be against the Toronto Raptors (40-41) and the Chicago Bulls (39-42). Since the Raptors will finish the regular season as the ninth seed, the game will be played in Toronto.

The winner of this matchup will not automatically qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs. Instead, either the Raptors or the Bulls will have to play against the losing team of the first play-in matchup.

You may be interested in reading: Can the Chicago Bulls make it into 2023 NBA playoffs? Looking at chances of the team to make it past play-in tournament

For example, if the Hawks lose against the Heat and the Raptors beat the Bulls, the Raptors and the Hawks will then face off in Atlanta for the final play-in game. The winner of the game will advance to the postseason to face the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round.

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Edited by Asmir Pekmic