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NBA play-in tournament 2024: Schedule, projections, standings

NBA play-in tournament 2024: Schedule, projections, standings

The NBA’s play-in tournament is set to start at the conclusion of the regular season, adding another layer to this final stretch of games as teams try to position themselves for a potential postseason push.

Initially implemented during the 2020-21 NBA season, the play-in tournament expanded the NBA’s postseason to 20 teams (10 from each conference). The top six teams from each conference automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the 7- through 10-seeds enter the play-in tournament for a chance to extend their seasons.

This season’s play-in tournament race is tight, as teams try to avoid the play-in altogether while others are hoping for at least one more shot at a playoff spot.

In the West, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are being chased down by the Houston Rockets, who are only two games behind the Dubs for the final play-in spot. In the East, the Brooklyn Nets still have a distant shot of cracking the top 10, while the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers are trying to chase down the Indiana Pacers for the sixth spot to avoid the play-in entirely.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 play-in tournament, including how it works, current standings and potential matchups.

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Current standings

Through games of March 31.


Monday’s games to watch


Tuesday’s games to watch


Projected matchups

Here’s a glance at how the 2024 play-in tournament would look if the season ended today.

Eastern Conference

  • No. 8 76ers at No. 7 Heat

  • No. 10 Hawks at No. 9 Bulls

  • Winner 9/10 vs. loser 7/8

Western Conference

  • No. 8 Suns at No. 7 Kings

  • No. 10 Warriors at No. 9 Lakers

  • Winner 9/10 vs. loser 7/8


How does the NBA play-in tournament work?

There will be six total games involving eight teams as part of the play-in tournament, split up between the two conferences.

The teams that finish Nos. 1-6 in each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots, while team Nos. 7-10 in the standings will enter the play-in. Any team that finishes worse than No. 10 will be in the NBA draft lottery.

Here’s how the games will work:

  • Game 1s (Tuesday, April 16): Each conference’s No. 7 team in the standings will host the No. 8 team, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The losing teams get another chance in Friday’s Game 3s.

  • Game 2s (Wednesday, April 17): Each conference’s No. 9 team will host the No. 10 team, with the winner moving on to Game 3. The losers are eliminated…

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