NBA Playoff Standings 2022: Latest Play-in Picture and Predicting Final Seedings

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 7, 2022

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant, left, and Kyrie Irving (11) celebrate with Patty Mills (8) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in New York. The Nets won 110-98. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets held serve in the race to land the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday.

Atlanta cruised to a 15-point win over the Washington Wizards, while the Nets needed a come-from-behind victory to take care of the New York Knicks. 

Brooklyn remained ahead of Atlanta on its head-to-head tiebreaker and will now set its sights on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the No. 7 slot. 

The Nets sit one game back of the Cavaliers ahead of their showdown on Friday inside the Barclays Center. 

Steve Nash's team would earn the season head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cavs with a win, which would give it the chance to host a play-in round game with the opportunity to secure the No. 7 seed. 

Meanwhile, the Western Conference play-in picture remained unchanged after Wednesday's games.

The Los Angeles Clippers handled the Phoenix Suns backups, but that result had no impact on the standings since L.A. is already locked into the No. 8 spot in the West.


Updated NBA Standings

Eastern Conference

1. Miami (52-28)

2. Boston (50-30)

3. Milwaukee (49-30)

4. Philadelphia (49-30)

5. Toronto (46-33)

6. Chicago (45-35) 


Play-In Standings

7. Cleveland (43-37)

8. Brooklyn (42-38)

9. Atlanta (42-38)

10. Charlotte (40-39) 


Brooklyn and Cleveland will steal all of the Eastern Conference attention on Friday. 

The Nets put themselves in place to gain the No. 7 spot in the East on Friday courtesy of a second-half comeback over the New York Knicks on Wednesday. 

The victory ensured the Nets would be one game back of the Cavs going into Friday's showdown at the Barclays Center. 

Brooklyn should have the advantage in that matchup since the Cavs have been without Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen recently.

The Nets play the Indiana Pacers in Sunday's regular-season finale, so a win over the Cavs should lock up the No. 7 spot on the head-to-head tiebreaker barring a stunning victory out of the Pacers. 

Cleveland finishes the regular season versus the Milwaukee Bucks, which could be playing for the right to avoid the Nets in the first round of the postseason.

Milwaukee is currently third in the East and might be content with that spot to avoid playing Brooklyn in the opening round. 

Atlanta needs to sweep its remaining games against the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets to have a chance of landing the No. 8 seed and a matchup with Brooklyn.

The Hawks went 3-1 against Cleveland in the regular season, and they could jump the Cavs if they go 2-0 and the current seventh seed splits its last two games. 

Miami holds a two-game lead over the Boston Celtics for the East's No. 1 seed, so it may enter Friday's clash with Atlanta with a looser mindset. 

Charlotte needs to make up a 1.5-game deficit over its final three matchups to earn a home game in the No. 9-versus-No. 10 clash, but that doesn't seem likely with the Hawks in terrific form at the moment.

The Hornets need to beat the Chicago Bulls on the road on Friday to put some pressure on Atlanta. 

Charlotte is expected to win its other two games against the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. 

Prediction: 7. Brooklyn, 8. Atlanta, 9. Cleveland, 10. Charlotte


Western Conference

1. Phoenix (63-17)

2. Memphis (55-24)

3. Golden State (50-29)

4. Dallas (50-30)

5. Utah (48-32)

6. Denver (47-33)


Play-In Standings

7. Minnesota (45-35)

8. Los Angeles Clippers (39-40)

9. New Orleans (35-44)

10. San Antonio (34-45)


The Los Angeles Clippers turned in a strong performance against the Phoenix Suns backups in Wednesday's final game.

The Clippers did not gain anything in the standings with the victory, but they did see Norman Powell get back on the floor. 

The 28-year-old will be a vital part in the Clippers' postseason, and it will be important to get him back into a rhythm before the end of the regular season. 

Los Angeles' most likely play-in round opponent will be the Minnesota Timberwolves, which sit two games behind the Denver Nuggets for the No. 6 seed. Denver is the only top-six team in the West not to clinch a playoff berth. 

Denver needs to beat either the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, or the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday to keep the Wolves in the play-in round. 

Minnesota would host the Clippers if that situation comes to fruition. The Clippers finish up at home against the Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The 10th-placed San Antonio Spurs visit Minnesota in one of Thursday's most meaningful games across the NBA. 

The Spurs are only one game back of the New Orleans Pelicans for the right to host the No. 9-versus-No. 10 clash in the West. They end the regular season with road trips to Minnesota and Dallas and a home game against Golden State.

New Orleans gets to play Portland at home on Thursday and then visits Memphis on Saturday. The Pelicans finish up at home against the Warriors. 

San Antonio owns a 3-1 head-to-head record over the Pelicans, so if the two squads finish on a level record, they will flip their current positions.

The one-game deficit may be tough to overcome since the Spurs have the more difficult set of opponents to end the regular season. 

Prediction: 7. Minnesota, 8. LA Clippers, 9. New Orleans, 10. San Antonio.