2019 NBA Playoff Picture: Odds, Standings, Magic Numbers, Analysis, More
Photo credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyrie Irving
- With just a week or so left in the regular season, what does the NBA playoff picture look like?
- Below we'll break down where each team is likely to land, current standings, projected playoff matchups, tiebreaker scenarios and more.
The 2019 NBA Playoffs race is coming down to the wire. Teams are all set in the Western Conference, but most are still battling for seeding and home-court advantage. In the East, very little is set, and we’ll likely have at least one play-in game on the last day of the year.
Standings and tiebreaker scenarios can get complicated, so we’re keeping everything organized for you here; hoops heads might want to bookmark this post. Below you’ll find each team’s probability to make the playoffs, what seed they’re likely to be slotted into, tiebreaker scenarios and more.
Note: “Magic numbers” refer to the number of games a team needs to win to guarantee that spot.
Last updated: Monday, April 8
NBA Playoff Picture: Eastern Conference Playoffs Standings, Odds
- The Milwaukee Bucks have clinched the top seed and home-court advantage through the NBA Finals.
- The Toronto Raptors are locked into the No. 2 seed.
- The Philadelphia 76ers are locked into the No. 3 seed.
- The Boston Celtics are locked into the No. 4 seed.
- If the Indiana Pacers are locked into the No. 5 seed.
- The Detroit Pistons are now behind the Nets and Magic, both of whom have clinched a playoff berth. The final spot will go to one of Detroit, Charlotte or Miami. The Pistons will get it if they win out, but they’re just one game up over the Hornets, who own the series tiebreaker.
- The Brooklyn Nets clinched a playoff spot. They’re currently tied with Orlando for the 6-seed and own the tiebreaker.
- The Orlando Magic clinched a playoff spot, but seeding is still up in the air. They have a one-game lead over the Pistons, but Detroit owns the tiebreaker.
- The Miami Heat are all but out. They need to win their final two games plus the Pistons have to lose to the Grizzlies and Knicks.
- The Charlotte Hornets are one game behind the Pistons but own the tiebreaker. They need to win both games and have Detroit lose one.
Western Conference Playoffs Standings, Odds
- The Western Conference playoffs are set in terms of teams; they will now just fight for home court and seedings.
- The Golden State Warriors are locked into the No. 1 seed.
- The Denver Nuggets are a half game up on the Rockets for the 2-seed. They will get it if they win their final two games; if they lose, they’ll need help from Houston to clinch.
- The Houston Rockets have the tiebreaker over the Nuggets (half game back) but not over the Blazers (one game up). They’re guaranteed home court in the first round but could be seeded into the 2-4 spots still.
- The Portland Trail Blazers can’t get to the 2-seed because the Nuggets own the tiebreaker. The Blazers do have it against the Rockets, however, so if Portland wins both remaining games and the Rockets lose to the Thunder, the Blazers will be the 3-seed.
- The Utah Jazz are two games behind the Blazers for home court in the first round. They would have to win both games and the Blazers would have to lose both. If they lose both games, they could be caught by the Thunder, but one more win for them or a loss by the Thunder would clinch the 5-seed.
- The LA Clippers are tied with the Spurs and a half game behind the Thunder. They don’t own either tiebreaker, however, so the most likely outcome now is a first-round matchup against the Warriors.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder control their own destiny for the 6-seed: Win both games and it’s theirs. Lose one, and it’s likely the Spurs will get the 6.
- The San Antonio Spurs are a half game back of the Thunder with a single game to play. Even the Thunder lose either, the Spurs will get the 6-seed.