NBA Playoff Standings 2020: Latest Team Records, Seeds and Bracket Picture

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker dribbles against the Los Angeles Clippers during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns won't go down without a fight.

On Tuesday night, they pushed their record inside the bubble to 3-0 with their most impressive triumph to date. Behind 35 points and one incredible buzzer-beater from All-Star guard Devin Booker, the Suns knocked off Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Suns are still fighting an uphill battle to force a play-in tournament, let alone claim an actual postseason spot. But they are proving they deserved their invite to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, and if they keep this up, they could extend their stay longer than anyone could've imagined.

We'll update the latest standings and playoff seedings below, then examine the best individual matchups from the currently projected first-round series.



Eastern Conference

1. x-Milwaukee Bucks (54-14)

2. x-Toronto Raptors (48-18)

3. x-Boston Celtics (44-23)

4. x-Miami Heat (43-25)

5. x-Indiana Pacers (42-26)

6. x-Philadelphia 76ers (40-27)

7. Brooklyn Nets (32-35)

8. Orlando Magic (32-36)

9. Washington Wizards (24-43)


Western Conference

1. x-Los Angeles Lakers (51-15)

2. x-Los Angeles Clippers (45-22)

3. x-Denver Nuggets (44-23)

4. x-Houston Rockets (42-25)

5. x-Utah Jazz (42-25)

6. x-Oklahoma City Thunder (41-25)

7. x-Dallas Mavericks (41-29)

8. Memphis Grizzlies (32-36)

9. Portland Trail Blazers (31-38)

10. San Antonio Spurs (29-37)

11 New Orleans Pelicans (29-38)

12. Phoenix Suns (29-39)

13. Sacramento Kings (28-39)

*x = clinched playoff berth


Playoff Picture

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Orlando Magic

No. 4 Miami Heat vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 6 Philadelphia 76ers

No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Brooklyn Nets


Western Conference

No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies

No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder

No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks


Best Potential Individual Matchups of the First Round

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat, vs. Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

The battle of the big man might feel like a relic from basketball's past, but seeing these contemporary centers tango would be a treat.

Adebayo is the rare playmaking 5, possessing an unfair blend of handles and vision for his size (6'9", 255 lbs). Turner is a 6'11" floor spacer. He can score around the basket, too, but Indy often uses his three-point stroke (career 36.0 percent) to balance their attack.

Defensively, these are two of the best bigs in the business. Adebayo has the mobility and lateral quickness of a wing, so when he gets switched on to a perimeter player, it's an advantage for Miami. Turner is an intimidating presence in the middle—he swatted a league-leading 2.7 shots a night last season—and he's comfortable defending in space.

If Victor Oladipo was definitely playing and free from the rust he's displayed, his one-on-one tussle with Jimmy Butler might deserve this spot. But since there are question marks around Oladipo, this series could be decided in the frontcourt.


James Harden, Houston Rockets, vs. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

Harden and Mitchell are appointment-viewing players on the offensive end. Watching them put on a fireworks display together should be a dream.

As hyperbolic as this will sound, Harden is the best scorer we've seen this side of Michael Jordan. Harden is closing in on his third consecutive scoring title. Last season, he became the first player since Jordan (and only the fourth ever) to average at least 36 points, per Stathead. This year, he became just the 11th player to average 30-plus points in three different seasons.

Mitchell isn't on that level, but given his importance to this offense—especially with Bojan Bogdanovic shelved for the restart—he may as well be. With no Bogdanovic, Mitchell averages nearly nine more points (24.1 to 15.4) and seven more shots (19.5 to 12.8) than anyone else on the team (reserve Jordan Clarkson comes closest in both). Mitchell is only the fifth player of the 2000s to start his career with three seasons of 20-plus points per game.

Either flamethrower is worth a watch here, and since neither is exactly a suffocating stopper, they could even boost the other's production.


Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers, vs. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

In a superstars' league, it doesn't get any better than watching two superstars lock horns under the playoff spotlight.

Leonard is either on a short list of the NBA's best two-way players or he leads that discussion. A two-time Finals MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year, his first campaign back in his native Los Angeles has been a roaring success. In addition to positioning his club to contend for a title, he's posting personal bests in points (26.8) and assists (4.9).

Doncic followed his eye-opening rookie season by rocketing into the elite tier. He won't take home the MVP award—Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James are battling it out for that honor—but Doncic should collect votes, which is no minor feat for a 21-year-old. He's a top-five scorer (29.0 points, fifth) and distributor (8.8 assists, third), and he's the biggest reason Dallas has the highest offensive rating in history.

These two mean so much to their respective teams that they may not spend a ton of time actually going head-to-head. Their coaches won't want to drain their energy by asking them to defend the other. But that will just make those sequences where they do get matched up even sweeter.