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NBA Playoff Bracket 2020: Updated Rankings, Seeds and Round 1 Projections in Orlando

The NBA season is usually a marathon of games over several months, but the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has sprinted from the 2019-20 campaign to the finish.

The position of the playoffs is at stake as 22 NBA teams resume play at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Fla. The playoff fields in each conference are largely set up, but there may be some drama during the seeding games as teams jockey for post-season positioning.

MORE: Full NBA Schedule for Restart of the Season in Orlando

How is the race for the number 8 seed in the West? How much will the seedlings in the East change? Those questions will be answered shortly.

Let’s take a look at the NBA 2020 play-off photo, including leaderboards and possible matchups for each conference.

NBA Leader Board 2020

These are the current NBA standings on March 11, the last day of official games. Bold teams are invited to complete the regular season in Orlando.

Eastern conference

SeedTeamMentionGames back
1.Bucks53-12
2.Birds of prey46-186.5
3.Celtics43-219.5
4.Warmth41-2412
5.Pacers39-2614
6.76ers39-2614
7.Nets30-3422.5
8.Magic30-3523
Wizards24-4028.5
Hornets23-4230
Bulls22-4331
Knicks21-4532.5
Pistons20-4633.5
Hawks20-4734
Cavaliers19-4634

Western conference

SeedTeamMentionGames back
1.Lakers49-14
2.Clippers44-205.5
3.Nuggets43-227
4.Jazz41-238.5
5.Thunder40-249.5
6.Missiles40-249.5
7.Mavericks40-2711
8.Grizzlies32-3318
Trail blazers29-3721.5
Pelicans28-3621.5
Kings28-3621.5
Tracks27-3622
Sun tanning26-3924
Timberwolves19-4530.5
Warriors15-5035

When will the NBA playoffs start in 2020?

  • Play-in games (if needed): August 15-16
  • NBA Playoffs: August 17
  • NBA Conference Final: Sept. 15
  • NBA Finals: Sept. 30

Seeding games will be played through August 14, and a play-in tournament will be held August 15-16, if necessary with the first round of playoffs beginning August 17. The NBA Finals begin on September 30 and end on October 13 at the latest.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

Each of the 22 remaining teams must play eight seeding games to determine the position of the playoffs in both conferences.

If the number 9 seed in any conference is more than four games behind the number 8 seed at the end of the regular season, the number 8 seed will earn the last playoff spot. If the number 9 seed is four games or less behind the number 8 seed, those teams will participate in a play-in tournament (double elimination for the eighth seed, single elimination for the ninth seed).

The playoffs follow the typical format with full best-of-seven series up to and including the NBA Finals.

NBA playoff bracket

This is what the first round of the NBA playoff games would be if the season ended today.

Eastern conference

(1) Bucks vs. (8) Magic

(2) Birds of prey versus (7) nets

(3) Celtics vs. (6) 76ers

(4) Heat vs. (5) Pacers

Western conference

(1) Lakers vs. (8) Grizzlies

(2) Clippers vs. (7) Mavericks

(3) Nuggets versus (6) missiles

(4) Jazz vs. (5) Thunder

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