NBA Playoff Picture 2022: Standings, Predictions for Nets, Warriors and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 9, 2022

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) dribbles down court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday April 8, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are on a collision course to face each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs. 

Brooklyn made that possibility become more real with a home victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Co. jumped into the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference by way of its head-to-head tiebreaker over Cleveland. The Nets won the season series 3-1. 

Milwaukee reinforced its spot as the No. 2 seed in the East with a blowout victory over the Detroit Pistons. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo's squad comes into the weekend with a one-game advantage over the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 seed. 

The Western Conference play-in round is settled, but the four seeds above the Minnesota Timberwolves are not confirmed yet. 

The Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks are separated by a half-game for the No. 3 seed, while the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz have the same record in the scrap for the No. 5 seed. 


Updated NBA Standings

Eastern Conference

1. Miami (53-28)

2. Milwaukee (51-30)

3. Boston (50-31) 

4. Philadelphia (49-31)

5. Toronto (48-33)

6. Chicago (45-36) 


Play-In Standings

7. Brooklyn (43-38)

8. Cleveland (43-38) 

9. Atlanta (42-39)

10. Charlotte (42-39) 


Brooklyn will most likely host the play-in round game between the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in the Eastern Conference. 

The Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night inside the Barclays Center to move up to the seventh slot. 

Steve Nash's team finishes the regular season against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. Indiana has been in complete tank mode for a while. 

The Nets need a win to wrap up the home game and a path to a first-round clash with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Brooklyn defeated Cleveland on three occasions in the regular season, and a fourth head-to-head victory should be in its future.

The Cavs conclude their regular-season slate versus the Bucks in a matchup that many teams in the East will have eyes on. 

The Milwaukee-Cleveland clash is one of four games scheduled to tip off at 3:30 p.m. ET. A Bucks win could set in motion a handful of circumstances that affect the play-in standings. 

Atlanta owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Cleveland. The Hawks need to beat the Houston Rockets and for the Bucks to down the Cavs to pick up the No. 8 seed. 

If Cleveland wins and Brooklyn wins, the two squads will reconvene inside Barclays Center. The Hawks would host the Charlotte Hornets in that scenario. 

Atlanta just needs to beat Houston to ensure its hosting of the No. 9-versus-No. 10 clash in the play-in round.

Charlotte must defeat the Washington Wizards and have the Rockets pull off the upset over Atlanta to host that matchup.



1. Miami

2. Milwaukee

3. Boston

4. Philadelphia

5. Toronto

6. Chicago

7. Brooklyn

8. Atlanta

9. Cleveland

10. Charlotte


Western Conference

1. Phoenix (64-17)

2. Memphis (55-25)

3. Golden State (51-29)

4. Dallas (51-30)

5. Utah (48-33)

6. Denver (48-33)


Play-In Standings

7. Minnesota (46-35)

8. Los Angeles Clippers (40-40)

9. New Orleans (36-44)

10. San Antonio (34-46)


The No. 3 through No. 6 seeds are the last things to play for in the Western Conference. 

The play-in round is set. The Minnesota Timberwolves will host the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans welcome the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. 

Minnesota or the Clippers will take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round. The loser of the Wolves-Clippers contest faces the Pelicans-Spurs winner for the right to take on the Phoenix Suns. 

The rest of the bracket will be determined through Saturday and Sunday's results. The Golden State Warriors can move one game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 3 seed with a Saturday victory over the Spurs.

San Antonio may rest some of its starters ahead of the play-in clash with New Orleans, and that could help Golden State's pursuit of the No. 3 seed. 

Golden State finishes the regular season against the Pelicans, who also could be resting players ahead of Wednesday. 

Dallas welcomes San Antonio on Sunday night in a game that it needs to win to put pressure on the Warriors. 

If Golden State wins out, Dallas would play the Jazz or Nuggets in the series opposite the Suns in the West bracket. 

Utah visits the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, while the Nuggets host the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Both the Blazers and Lakers have nothing left to play for, so the Jazz and Nuggets will likely remain in their current positions in the standings.



1. Phoenix

2. Memphis

3. Golden State

4. Dallas

5. Utah

6. Denver

7. Minnesota

8. LA Clippers

9. New Orleans

10. San Antonio