The Eastern Conference play-in tournament is set, with the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls taking part in the bracket. All four teams were in the final playoff field last year, so this has been a down season for them.
The play-in tournament features seeds 7-10 in the conference. The No. 7 seed will play the No. 8 seed, with the winner becoming the official No. 7 seed in the main playoff bracket. The No. 9 seed will play the No. 10 seed, with the loser being eliminated from contention. The winner of the 9-10 game will play the loser of the 7-8 game. Whoever triumphs in that contest will be the No. 8 seed in the main playoff field, and the loser is eliminated.
2023 NBA play-in tournament: Eastern Conference bracket
No. 7 Heat vs. No 8 Hawks
No. 9 Raptors vs. No 10 Bulls
Loser of Heat-Hawks vs. Winner of Raptors-Bulls
The Heat and Hawks are familiar with each other as division rivals. Miami has the 3-1 edge over Atlanta in the season series, but the Hawks have been playing better of late with Quin Snyder at the controls. The Heat are the veteran team and should be able to handle the pressure better in this game.
The Raptors and Bulls have been marred by inconsistent play in what has been a rough campaign for both teams. Toronto likely has the talent edge in this matchup but the Bulls have a habit of playing up to the moment.