The NBA season is usually a marathon of games spanning several months, but the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has made the 2019-20 campaign a sprint towards the finish line.
Playoff positioning is at stake as 22 NBA teams play again at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The playoff fields in each conference are largely fixed, but there may be some drama positioning during the “seeding games” as team jockey for the postseason.
MORE: Complete NBA schedule to restart the season in Orlando
How will the race for number 8 in the west go? How much will the seeds change in the east? These questions will be answered soon.
Let’s take a look at the NBA 2020 playoff picture, including the leaderboard and possible matchups for each conference.
NBA rating 2020
Here is the current NBA leaderboard as of July 31.
* Playoff berth won
When will the NBA playoffs start in 2020?
Play-in games (if required): 15th-16th August NBA playoffs: August 17, NBA conference finals: September 15, NBA final: September 30
Seeding games will be played until August 14th and a play-in tournament will take place from August 15th to 16th if necessary. The first round of playoffs begins on August 17th. The NBA final begins on September 30 and ends on October 13 at the latest.
How do the NBA playoffs work?
Each of the 22 remaining teams is expected to play eight “seeding games” to determine playoff positioning in both conferences.
If number 9 in every conference is more than four games behind number 8 at the end of the regular season, number 8 gets the last place in the playoffs. If starting number 9 is four games or less behind starting number 8, these teams take part in a play-in tournament (double elimination for the eighth starting number, single elimination for the ninth starting number).
The playoffs will follow the typical format with complete best-of-seven series until the NBA final.
NBA playoff bracket
That would be the NBA playoff matchups in the first round if the season ended today.
(1) dollars versus (8) nets
(2) raptors against (7) magic
(3) Celtics vs. (6) 76ers
(4) heat against (5) pacemaker
(1) Lakers vs. (8) Grizzlies
(2) Clippers vs. (7) Mavericks
(3) Nuggets vs. (6) Thunder
(4) Jazz vs. (5) Rockets