How the NBA Playoff bracket would look if the season ended today

We are now entering the final week of the 2023-24 NBA season. The playoff field may be set, but the matchups aren't just yet.
NBA In-Season Tournament Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs Indiana Pacers
NBA In-Season Tournament Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs Indiana Pacers / Anadolu/GettyImages

The NBA Playoffs are almost here.

We are right on the cusp of the conclusion of the regular season. While the playoff field is set, there is still some time for certain things to change, particularly concerning the matchups and what the bracket will look like when everything is said and done.

As we know, eight teams make the playoffs. Six are given a bye to the first round, while the next four seeds battle it out in the Play-In Tournament to decide the final two spots.

But as the final week of the regular season begins, now is a good time to take a look at the playoff bracket and what it would look like if the season ended today.

How the NBA Playoff bracket would look if the season ended today

We'll start in the Western Conference. There is still a lot that has yet to be decided in this race.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets are tied for the top spot in the conference with records of 54-24 and four games remaining on the schedule. The Oklahoma City Thunder still have a shot to secure the top seed, as they sit just one game back with a record of 53-25. These three teams have already clinched their playoff berths and have avoided the Play-In Tournament.

If the postseason began today, Oklahoma City would play its first-round matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who would be the sixth seed. The Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks currently occupy the four and five spots, respectively, and would play each other in the first round.

Seeds 7-10 are occupied by the New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, and Golden State Warriors. The Pelicans and Kings would match up against one another in the play-in tournament to determine who becomes the true No. 7 seed and matches up with the Nuggets.

The remaining three Play-In teams would be in the mix to secure seed No. 8 and play the Timberwolves.

With four games left on the schedule, there is still room for a little bit of fluctuation in the playoff picture. While all 10 teams have secured their postseason spots. the Pelicans and Kings could play their way out of the conversation for the Play-In Tournament and secure spots in the first round. Even the Mavericks don't have the No. 5 seed locked up just yet.

The same can be said for the Clippers as the No. 4 seed, as there is still a slim chance they could end up in the Play-In Tournament.

In the Eastern Conference, the field is set as well, but matchups are also still not determined just yet.

The Boston Celtics have already secured the best record in the NBA, so they would be the top seed in the East. The Milwaukee Bucks have also clinched seed No. 2 in the East, effectively avoiding the Play-In Tournament.

These are the only two teams in the East who have clinched their playoff berths. The Orlando Magic would be seed No. 3 and open up the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, while the No. 4 seed New York Knicks would begin against the No. 5 seed Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and Atlanta Hawks would be the teams in the Play-In Tournament. Miami and Philadelphia would be playing for seed No. 7 and a trip to Milwaukee for the first round. The loser of that game and the final two Play-In teams would then be in the mix for the No. 8 seed and a trip to Boston for the first round.

The Sixers are just a game back of the Pacers for seed No. 6 and could avoid the Play-In Tournament.

We'll see how things shake out this week, but the playoff picture is pretty much almost set.

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