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Eastern Conference playoff picture heading into 2021 NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs are rapidly approaching at the end of May. We’re tracking the Eastern Conference standings and how the seeding looks, plus which teams are headed for the play-in tournament.

Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers react against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The 2021 NBA Playoffs are scheduled to begin on May 22 following the play-in tournament, which begins on May 18. The play-in tournament was expanded to include seeds 7-10, so after that is decided, we’ll have the usual 1-8 matchups in the Eastern Conference.

The landscape in the East has changed a bit throughout the regular season. It’s looking like it’ll be a three-man race for first place with the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks all with a shot to grab the No. 1 overall seed. Behind those three is a jumble of newcomers and teams that have underperformed. The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks are among the teams to get back into the postseason if all goes well. The Boston Celtics are also in this group along with the Miami Heat — two teams many expected to be toward the top of the conference.

Here we’re going to be tracking the standings in the Eastern Conference and providing a look into how the playoff picture is shaping up.

* represents teams who are currently in position to participate in the play-in tournament.
X represents teams who have clinched a playoff berth.

Eastern Conference Standings

Place Team Wins Losses Games Back
Place Team Wins Losses Games Back
1-X Philadelphia 76ers 47 21 -
2-X Brooklyn Nets 44 24 3
3-X Milwaukee Bucks 43 24 3.5
4 New York Knicks 38 30 9
5 Atlanta Hawks 37 31 10
6 Miami Heat 37 31 10
7* Boston Celtics 35 33 12
8* Charlotte Hornets 33 35 14
9* Washington Wizards 32 36 15
10* Indiana Pacers 31 36 15.5
11 Chicago Bulls 29 39 18
12 Toronto Raptors 27 41 20
13 Orlando Magic 21 47 26
14 Cleveland Cavaliers 21 47 26
15 Detroit Pistons 20 49 27.5