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How many teams make the NBA playoffs?

We go over how many teams compete in the NBA playoffs.

Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz
Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns dribbles the ball during the game against the Utah Jazz on April 8, 2022 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2022 NBA playoffs are around the corner, with the play-in tournament taking place April 12-15 before the playoffs begin April 16. There are now 20 teams eligible for postseason play with the introduction of the play-in tournament.

How many teams are in the NBA playoffs?

16 of the 20 teams make the playoffs. 12 of those 16 teams are confirmed ahead of the play-in tournament and are seeded 1-6 in each conference based on record. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head record, followed by a division winner tiebreaker. Even though division winners aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot, there’s some value in having that title. The No. 1 seed plays the No. 8 seed, 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6 and 4 plays 5. The No. 7 and No. 8 seeds are determined by the play-in tournament.

The winner of the 1-8 matchup plays the winner of the 4-5 matchup in the second round, while the winner of the 2-7 series plays the winner of the 3-6 series. The second round winners then move to the conference finals, and the conference winners meet in the 2022 NBA Finals, which begins June 2.