NBA standings: Seeding scenarios, breakdown for final spots in 2021 playoffs

Brace yourselves, basketball fans. The 2021 NBA playoffs are almost here.

There is an added level of intrigue this year with the league implementing a new version of the play-in tournament, which was first seen inside the Florida “bubble” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the traditional eight-team fields in each conference, a total of 20 teams will participate in the postseason.

With multiple contenders battling for playoff positioning, the final stretch of the regular season should provide plenty of entertainment. 

Here’s a snapshot of the current NBA playoff picture, including standings and potential matchups for each conference.

NBA standings 2021: Eastern Conference

NBA standings 2021: Western Conference

*clinched playoff berth
Eliminated from playoff contention: Rockets, Timberwolves

How does the NBA play-in tournament work?

NBA playoff picture: Seeding breakdowns

(Remaining strength of schedule via Tankathon and playoff probability via FiveThirtyEight)

Eastern Conference

1. Nets

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .508

Playoff probability: 99 percent

2. 76ers

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .421

Playoff probability: 99 percent

3. Bucks

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .453

Playoff probability: 99 percent

4. Knicks

Remaining games: 10

Remaining strength of schedule: .537

Playoff probability: 84 percent

5. Hawks

Remaining games: 10

Remaining strength of schedule: .488

Playoff probability: 99 percent

6. Celtics

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .438

Playoff probability: 98 percent

7. Heat

Remaining games: 10

Remaining strength of schedule: .482

Playoff probability: 91 percent

8. Hornets

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .480

Playoff probability: 56 percent

9. Pacers

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .501

Playoff probability: 48 percent

10. Wizards

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .494

Playoff probability: 6 percent

Western Conference

1. Jazz

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .478

Playoff probability: In

2. Suns

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .531

Playoff probability: 99 percent

3. Clippers

Remaining games: 9

Remaining strength of schedule: .492

Playoff probability: 99 percent

4. Nuggets

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .519

Playoff probability: 99 percent

5. Lakers

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .507

Playoff probability: 99 percent

6. Mavericks

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .435

Playoff probability: 93 percent

7. Trail Blazers

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .544

Playoff probability: 74 percent

8. Grizzlies

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .417

Playoff probability: 61 percent

9. Spurs

Remaining games: 12

Remaining strength of schedule: .611

Playoff probability: 17 percent

10. Warriors

Remaining games: 11

Remaining strength of schedule: .455

Playoff probability: 51 percent

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