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NBA Eastern Conference playoff picture: Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, Cavaliers, Knicks locked in as top five seeds

Chicago Bulls v Milwaukee Bucks
Gary Dineen

Below is a comprehensive snapshot of where things stand in the Eastern Conference playoff and play-in races entering play on Thursday. This post will be updated throughout the remainder of the regular season or until all seeds are clinched. 

Reminder on how the play-in tournament works: No. 7 plays No. 8 and No. 9 plays No. 10. The winner of the 7-8 game gets the No. 7 seed, while the loser plays the winner of the 9-10 game for the  No. 8 seed. 

READ: Western Conference playoff picture

NOTE: Our SportsLine model, developed by predictive data engineer Stephen Oh, simulates the entire season 10,000 times to produce the most unbiased and precise projections imaginable.

  • 🔒Locked into No. 1 seed
  • Current first-round matchup: TBD
  • 🔒Locked into No. 2 seed
  • Current first-round matchup: vs. Heat-Hawks play-in winner
  • 🔒Locked into No. 3 seed
  • Current first-round matchup: vs. Nets
  • 🔒Locked into No. 4 seed
  • First-round matchup: vs. Knicks

5. New York Knicks (47-33)

  • 🔒Locked into No. 5 seed
  • First-round matchup: at Cavaliers

6. Brooklyn Nets (44-36)

  • 🔒Clinched play-in spot
  • Remaining schedule: vs. Magic, vs. 76ers
  • Current first-round matchup: at 76ers
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Nets clinched


7. Miami Heat (42-37)

  • 🔒Clinched play-in spot
  • Remaining schedule: at 76ers, at Wizards, vs. Magic
  • Current first-round matchup: vs. Hawks (play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Brooklyn: Nets clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Atlanta: Heat clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. TorontoRaptors clinched

8. Atlanta Hawks (41-39)

  • 🔒Clinched play-in spot
  • Remaining schedule: vs. 76ers, at Celtics
  • Current first-round matchup: at Heat (play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Heat clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Toronto: Hawks clinched

9. Toronto Raptors (40-40)

  • 🔒Clinched play-in spot
  • Remaining schedule: at Celtics, vs. Bucks
  • Current first-round matchup: vs. Bulls (play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Raptors clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Atlanta: Hawks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Chicago: Raptors clinched

10. Chicago Bulls (38-42)

  • 🔒Locked into No. 10 seed
  • Remaining schedule: at Mavericks, vs. Pistons
  • Current first-round matchup: at Raptors (play-in)

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