Brooklyn Nets Playoff Chances Increase with Meltdowns from the Rest of the Eastern Conference Play-In Teams

Apr 5, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts to making a
Apr 5, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts to making a / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

There's not much margin for error, but the Brooklyn Nets got some help from their competitors on Tuesday night.

The Eastern Conference playoff picture is in flux right now, but the Nets jumped from No. 10 to No. 8 in the play-in standings after a chaotic Tuesday night around the NBA.

The Nets, with help from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets, now control their own destiny for the No. 7 seed in the East.

For now, here is how it stands in the bottom of the East right now:

Eastern Conference Standings, as of Tuesday, April 6

  • No. 7 Seed: Cleveland Cavaliers, 43-37, --
  • No. 8 Seed: Brooklyn Nets, 41-38, 1.5 GB
  • No. 9 Seed: Atlanta Hawks, 41-38, 1.5 GB
  • No. 10 Seed: Charlotte Hornets, 40-39, 2.5 GB

Brooklyn Nets Control Own Destiny for the No. 7 Seed

With the Nets winning on Tuesday and the three teams listed all losing, Brooklyn leapfrogged Atlanta and Charlotte for the No. 8 seed.

If Brooklyn wins their final three games, at New York on Wednesday, home for Cleveland on Friday and home for Indiana on Sunday, the Nets will jump Cleveland for the No. 7 seed as well. The Nets are 5-point favorites against the Knicks on Wednesday, and will be favored in their final pair of games as well.

Cleveland Cavaliers in Trouble of Falling to No. 9 Seed

The Cavs are 8-14 over the second half of the season, and now are in trouble of falling into the double elimination portion of the Play-In Tournament.

The Cavs have two games left against the Nets and Bucks. Yes, they hold the better record at this point, but another loss would send them into a possible tie with the Hawks, who hold the tiebreaker over Cleveland.

Atlanta plays Washington, at Miami and at Houston to close the season. They have work to do, but can also reach the top 8 with the Cavs in a free fall and also facing a tricky schedule.

The East is far from settled at the bottom, and Tuesday's results added more wrinkles to the whole equation.

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