NBA Playoffs Standings 2023

The field for the NBA playoffs is all set. The 2022-23 NBA regular season is just concluded to clear the picture for the play-in tournament and playoffs. It means a lot of thrill and action is yet to entertain the followers through high-end contests between the top-class contenders. The AT&T Play-In tournament is scheduled to commence from April 11 through 14. Teams (7th through 10th) with the highest percentages in each conference will participate in this round with an ambition to enter the playoffs.

The following chart shows the top 12 teams that are already qualified for the NBA playoffs:

Eastern ConferenceWestern Conference
Milwaukee BucksDenver Nuggets
Boston CelticsMemphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ersSacramento Kings
Cleveland CavaliersPhoenix Suns
New York KnicksLos Angeles Clippers
Brooklyn NetsGolden State Warriors

Here’re 4 teams from each conference to participate in the Play-In tournament:

Eastern ConferenceWestern Conference
Miami HeatLos Angeles Lakers
Atlanta HawksMinnesota Timberwolves
Toronto RaptorsNew Orleans Pelicans
Chicago BullsOklahoma City Thunder

The top 2 teams from each conference will head to the playoffs.

Play-In Tournament: Eastern Conference

  • Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat

  • Chicago Bulls vs Toronto Raptors

Play-In Tournament: Western Conference

  • Los Angeles Lakers vs Minnesota Timberwolves

  • New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Eastern Conference First Round

  • No. 1 (Milwaukee Bucks) vs No. 8 (TBD)

  • No. 2 (Boston Celtics) vs No. 7 (TBD)

  • No. 3 (Philadelphia 76ers) vs No. 6 (Brooklyn Nets)

  • No. 4 (Cleveland Cavaliers) vs No. 5 (New York Knicks)

Western Conference First Round

  • No. 1 (Denver Nuggets) vs No. 8 (TBD)

  • No. 2 (Memphis Grizzlies) vs No. 7 (TBD)

  • No. 3 (Sacramento Kings) vs No. 6 (Golden State Warriors)

  • No. 4 (Phoenix Suns) vs No. 5 (Los Angeles Clippers)

NBA Playoff Format History and Evolution

Playoffs are a critical phase of major tournaments centered in the US. Professional basketball also adopted this format a long way ago. Presently, the NBA playoffs comprise 16 out of the total 30 teams. Was it the same format ever? How did we get there? Well, the NBA playoffs also have a history.

The playoff structure in the National Basketball Association league changed over the years. There have been professional NBA championships played before the evolution of playoffs. The NBA league came into existence around 1949. Meanwhile, 9 franchises from the NBL (National Basketball League) and 12 teams of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) decided to merge. The BAA yielded prominence quickly in the pro basketball landscape with larger arenas, larger cities and more capital.

From 1937 to 1949, the size of the NBA playoffs varied from two to eight teams. The 1950 playoffs comprised 12 of 17 teams following the merger. This scenario led the top four finishers from three divisions to play inside the division to identify the qualifying team. After the failure of this mechanism, the NBA decided to follow another format to extend equal opportunities for all participants. The NBA reduced the number of teams to nine by 1953-54. It resulted in a six-team playoff competition.

The second and third-place teams from each division faced off at the start of 1954-55. The winner of this contest played against the division champion to reserve a place in the Finals. The NBA followed the format through the 1965-66 season. With the inclusion of the Chicago Bulls, the NBA again became a 10-team league and an eight-team format. The 8-team format was sustained with the expansion of the league to 12 teams in 1967, 14 in 1968, and 17 teams in 1970.

In 1976, the NBA increased the playoffs to 12 teams by including 4 teams from the old ABA. However, the playoffs adopted the current 16-team shape in 1983-84.

Playoff Tiebreakers Importance

The NBA tiebreaker appears crucial when two or more teams end the regular season with the same record. It is a vital module to determine the most eligible team for the subsequent action. Hence, NBA tiebreakers are incredibly important for playoff seeding. It helps to clarify the playoff picture since the NBA league is getting more competitive season by season.

NBA tiebreakers are simple and easy to apply when it is a matter of two teams. But things may turn more complicated when the scenario involves three or more teams with the same record in the regular season. In the case of two teams, the NBA tiebreaker takes the side of the team with a better head-to-head record.

The following are some tiebreakers when two teams share the same record:

  • Head-to-head record

  • Division leader against the non-division leader

  • Higher winning %age within a division (if teams share division)

  • Higher winning percentage in conference contests

  • Greater winning percentage vs playoff teams in own conference

  • Higher winning percentage vs playoff teams in other conference

  • Higher point differential (points scored vs points allowed)

The same tiebreaker rules will apply to determine the top seed when three or more teams are tied.

Injury Impact on the NBA Playoff Standings

The NBA injury list will be a vital aspect in identifying who comes away winning it all this season. The NBA player stats for some athletes around the league were impressive, but injuries took them out for the rest of the season. Therefore, it is common to see injuries in the NBA. Players enter the court frequently and with high intensity. It exposes them to mild to critical injuries that can affect the season performance, or the career as well.

The following are some highlighting injuries players sustained in NBA history that had levied a devastating impact on the NBA playoff standings:

  • Kendrick Perkins – knee injury (2010 NBA Finals)

  • Kyrie Irving – knee fracture (2015 NBA Finals)

  • Dirk Nowitzki – knee injury (2003 Western Conference Finals)

  • Derrick Rose – ACL tear (2012 Eastern Conference First-Round Game 1)

  • Chris Paul – hamstring strain (2018 Western Conference Finals)

Winning Streaks Importance

Consecutive victories in the NBA league reflect enormous importance to impact the final results. However, an unbreakable schedule along with the intense competition is making it difficult for the NBA participants to create longer winning streaks. Teams with imperious attitudes pose impressive wins but witness blowout losses the next night due to the intensive demand in the league.

Several NBA teams have already astonished the communities with great performance throughout the season. Many of them underwent a winning streak of more than 10 games numerous times. For instance, the San Antonio Spurs got a 10-game winning streak in seasons from 2010-11 to 2015-16. The Golden State Warriors were also among the teams who did the same in the 2018-19 season.

Here’s a look at some mind-blowing winning streaks from the NBA history:

TeamNumber of WinsSeason
Los Angeles Lakers331971-72
Golden State Warriors282014-15, 2015-16
Miami Heat272012-13
Houston Rockets222007-08
Milwaukee Bucks201970-71


Q. What is the Play-In tournament in the NBA?

A. The Play-In tournament is played to determine the 7th and 8th team to play in the playoffs in each conference.

Q. When are the NBA Finals of the 2022-23 season?

A. The Finals of the NBA 2022-23 season will commence on June 1.

Q. How many games will be played in the NBA 2022-23 Play-In tournament?

A. A total of 6 games (three in each conference) will be played in the NBA 2022-23 Play-In tournament.

Q. Which teams will play in the Play-In tournament of the NBA 2022-23 season?

A. Here’re the teams from each conference – Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, and Chicago Bulls (Eastern Conference); Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, and Oklahoma City Thunder (Western Conference).

Q. Which NBA team has won the most games consecutively?

A. The Los Angeles Lakers hold the longest winning streak of 33 games in the 1971-72 season.