NBA teams in the play-in tournament
This weekend’s games will affect the seeding of some teams, but those in the play-ins have been determined with three days left of the regular season.
April 10 is the last day of the regular NBA season and this year will be the second year the league holds a play-in tournament. The play-in tournament means all top 10 teams have a chance at playing in the playoffs. The play-in tournament begins April 12 and will continue through April 15. Game one of the regular playoffs begins on April 16.
NBA play-in tournament structure
The play-in tournament consists of six games total. It features eight teams, four from each conference, playing three games each. While the Nos. 1-6 teams are already granted a spot in the playoffs, the Nos. 7-10 will have to fight for it in the play-in.
Game 1: No. 7 vs No.8
In game one, the No.7 and No. 8 seeds will play each other. The winner gets the No.7 seed and will automatically advance to the playoffs. They will play the No.2 seed in their conference in the first playoff game. The loser will still have another chance and will play the winner of the No. 9/10 matchup.
Game 2: No. 9 vs No. 10
In game two, the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds will play each other. The loser is automatically eliminated and entered into the NBA draft lottery. The winner will play the loser of the No. 7/8 game in game three.
Game 3: Loser of No. 7/8 vs Winner of No. 9/10
In game three, the No. 7/8 loser hosts the No. 9/10 winner. The loser is eliminated and entered into the NBA draft lottery. The winner will get the No. 8 seed and advance to the playoffs. They will play the No. 1 seed from their conference.
The play-in race as it stands currently
The teams that will play in the play-in tournament have been determined, but some of their places in the tournament could still change depending on the results of this weekend’s games.
In the Eastern conference, the teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 7), Brooklyn Nets (No. 8), Atlanta Hawks (No. 9), and Charlotte Hornets. (No. 10). All of these seeds have the potential to change based on Friday’s games.
Friday games that could affect seeding and outcome:
Cavaliers vs Nets
Hawks vs Heat
Hornets vs Bulls
In the Western conference, the Nos. 7 and 8 game are already determined. The No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves will play the No. 8 LA Clippers. The New Orleans Pelicans are currently sitting at No. 9 and the San Antonio Spurs at No. 10.
The next Pelicans win or Spurs loss will determine which team is No. 9 or No. 10.
On Saturday, the Spurs play the Golden State Warriors (No.3) and the Pelicans play the Memphis Grizzlies (No.2).
On Sunday, the Pelicans play the Golden State Warriors and the Spurs play the Dallas Mavericks (No.4).