NBA playoff picture, bracket, postseason matchups: East seeds set as Knicks get No. 2, plenty on line in West

The final day of the 2023-24 NBA regular season is here, and so much is still at stake before the postseason field is finalized Sunday evening. Eight seeds remain in the balance in the Western Conference for the day’s 3:30 p.m. ET slate (follow along live), but we learned the Eastern Conference bracket earlier on Sunday afternoon. All 10 seeds in the East are locked in as the Knicks jumped the Bucks to claim the conference’s No. 2 seed thanks to an overtime win over the Bulls.

The Bucks entered the day as the No. 2 seed, but they were blown out by the Magic in Orlando. The Cavaliers also had a chance to get the No. 2 seed, but they removed most of the regulars down the stretch in a 10-point loss to the Hornets. The Magic, Pacers, 76ers and Heat were all winners on the afternoon, which kept the 5-8 seeds in the same order they were when the day began.

The most intriguing Western Conference race is for the No. 1 seed, with the Thunder, Timberwolves and Nuggets in a three-way tie for the top spot. CBS Sports’ Sam Quinn broke down what happens in the event of a three-way tie, but the path to the No. 1 seed is toughest for the defending champion Nuggets. 

Elsewhere in the West, the Pelicans are trying to stay ahead of the Suns for the No. 6 seed and final playoff spot. One of those teams will wind up in the Play-In Tournament, where the Lakers (No. 8 entering Sunday), Kings (No. 9) and Warriors (No. 10) will also be heading. The Warriors, however, are resting Stephen Curry and Draymond Green against the Jazz and seem to have already shifted their focus to the play-in tourney.

As a reminder, the NBA’s Play-In Tournament will determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in both conferences. Four teams in each conference (the 7-10 seeds) will enter the Play-In Tournament, while the top six seeds will automatically qualify for playoff spots. The seventh- and eighth-placed teams will face each other for the No. 7 seed. The ninth- and 10th-placed teams will face each other in another game, and then the loser of the No. 7/No. 8 game will face the winner of the No. 9/No. 10 game for the No. 8 seed.

Here’s the playoff bracket as it stands, plus the up-to-the-minute standings in both conferences.

Playoff bracket as it stands

(1) Thunder vs. (8) Suns/Lakers/Kings/Warriors
(2) Timberwolves vs. (7) Suns/Lakers
(3) Nuggets vs. (6) Pelicans
(4) Clippers vs. (5) Mavericks

(1) Celtics vs. (8) 76ers/Heat/Bulls/Hawks
(2) Knicks vs. (7) 76ers/Heat
(3) Bucks vs. (6) Pacers
(4) Cavaliers vs. (5) Magic

Kim O’Reilly, CBS Sports

Eastern Conference standings

  1. Boston Celtics – 64-18
  2. New York Knicks – 50-32
  3. Milwaukee Bucks – 49-33
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers – 48-34
  5. Orlando Magic – 47-35
  6. Indiana Pacers – 47-35
  7. Philadelphia 76ers – 47-35
  8. Miami Heat – 46-36
  9. Chicago Bulls – 39-43
  10. Atlanta Hawks – 36-46

Western Conference standings

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – 56-25
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves – 56-25
  3. Denver Nuggets – 56-25
  4. Los Angeles Clippers – 51-30
  5. Dallas Mavericks – 50-31
  6. New Orleans Pelicans – 49-32
  7. Phoenix Suns – 48-33
  8. Los Angeles Lakers – 46-35
  9. Sacramento Kings – 45-36
  10. Golden State Warriors – 45-36

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