Let the postseason begin! Kind of.
The NBA regular season has reached its conclusion, but before the playoffs officially begin, the Play-in Tournament WILL be held to determine the final two seeds in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference.
The seventh- and eighth-place teams in each conference will play for the No. 7 seed, while the ninth- and 10th-place teams will face off for a chance to play for the No. 8 seed. Then, the loser of the 7-8 matchup will face the winner of the 9-10 matchup with the eighth seed on the line.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the NBA Play-In Tournament.
When is the 2023 NBA Play-in Tournament?
The 2023 NBA Play-in Tournament will begin on April 11 and conclude on April 14. The playoffs will then start on April 15 and run through mid-June.
Which teams are playing in the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament?
The Miami Heat went from being last season’s top seed in the East to the play-in tournament. They were unable to catch the Brooklyn Nets even after they traded away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, missing out on the sixth spot by one game. Instead, they enter the play-in as the No. 7 seed.
The backcourt pairing of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray did not pay the immediate dividends the Atlanta Hawks were hoping for. Since advancing to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks will make their second-straight play-in appearance, having secured the eighth seed in the playoffs last season.
The Toronto Raptors make their play-in tournament debut after finishing the season at 41-41. The team has struggled on the road this season at 14-27, and that’s where they’ll have to win in order to qualify for the playoffs.
With a trio like DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, the Chicago Bulls probably should not have been clinging to the final play-in spot this season. But that’s where they find themselves, and they could be a tough out after finishing the season with a 40-42 record.
Out West, which was certainly wild, the Los Angeles Lakers climbed the ladder after a rollercoaster start and claimed the No. 7 seed with a 43-39 record. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Co. will be back in the mix for the playoffs after missing out on the tournament entirely last year.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season just got a whole lot more interesting. Rudy Gobert punched his teammate Kyle Anderson in the finale, then Jaden McDaniels broke his hand after punching a wall out of frustration. Nonetheless, they have the No. 8 seed with a 42-40 record.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ outlook appeared grim just a few weeks ago amid Zion Williamson’s prolonged absence with a hamstring injury, but they managed to fight back and grabbed hold of the No. 9 seed. They went on an 8-2 stretch to close out the regular season, but the Wolves leapt them in the standings after winning their Game 82 matchup.
Lastly, the No. 10 seed went to the youngest team in the NBA – the Oklahoma City Thunder. Their 40-42 record was good enough for the final spot as the Dallas Mavericks – headlined by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving – capitulated in the run-in. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey and Co. will look to play upset.
How can I watch the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament?
The Play-In Tournament will be broadcasted on ESPN and TNT, with each network airing three games apiece.
How can I stream the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament?
What is the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament schedule?
Here’s a look at the schedule and broadcast details for all of the play-in games:
- No. 8 Atlanta Hawks at No. 7 Miami Heat: April 11, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
- No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers: April 11, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)
- No. 10 Chicago Bulls at No. 9 Toronto Raptors: April 12, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans: April 12, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Winner of No. 10/No. 9 at loser of No. 8/No. 7: April 14, 9:30 or 10 p.m. ET (TNT)
- Winner of No. 10/No. 9 at loser of No. 8/No. 7: April 14, 9:30 or 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)