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NBA East playoff picture: Celtics, Sixers gain on Bucks; Heat control destiny to climb out of play-in

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The Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Indiana Pacers on Thursday to give a game back to Boston and Philadelphia in the race for the East’s No. 1 seed. Milwaukee now leads the Celtics and Sixers by two in the loss column. It could get interesting with Boston and Milwaukee still having one matchup left, which will also decide the season tiebreaker.¬†

Also of note, with the Brooklyn Nets’ loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Miami Heat now control their own destiny to climb above the play-in line and into the No. 6 seed. The Heat trail the No. 6 Nets by two in the loss column with two head-to-head matchups remaining. If Miami were to win those two, they would, as it stands, also win the tiebreaker by way of being a division winner.¬†

Below is a comprehensive snapshot of where things stand in the Eastern Conference playoff and play-in races entering play on Friday. This post will update daily throughout the remainder of the regular season or until all seeds are clinched. 

Reminder on how the play-in tournament works: No. 7 plays No. 8 and No. 9 plays No. 10. The winner of the 7-8 game gets the No. 7 seed, while the loser plays the winner of the 9-10 game for the  No. 8 seed. 

READ: Western Conference playoff picture

NOTE: Our SportsLine model, developed by predictive data engineer Stephen Oh, simulates the entire season 10,000 times to produce the most unbiased and precise projections imaginable.

  • Projected seed:¬†1
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†TBD
  • Tiebreaker vs. Boston:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia:¬†Sixers lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Projected seed:¬†2
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†Winner of Heat/Hawks play-in
  • Tiebreaker vs. Milwaukee:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia:¬†Celtics clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cleveland: Cavs clinched
  • Projected seed:¬†3
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Nets
  • Tiebreaker vs. Milwaukee:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia:¬†Celtics clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cleveland: Cavs lead via conference win percentage
  • Projected seed:¬†4
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Knicks
  • Tiebreaker vs. Boston:¬†Cavs clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia:¬†Cavs lead via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. New York: Knicks lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Brooklyn:¬†Nets lead 1-0 with two to play

5. New York Knicks (41-30)

  • Projected seed:¬†5
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†at Cavs
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cleveland:¬†Knicks lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Brooklyn:¬†Knicks currently own via division win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Knicks lead 2-0 with two to play

6. Brooklyn Nets (39-31)

  • Projected seed:¬†6
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†at Sixers
  • Tiebreaker vs. Cleveland:¬†Nets lead 1-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. New York:¬†Knicks currently own via division win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami: Nets lead 2-0 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Atlanta:¬†Nets lead 2-1 with one to play

PLAY-IN TOURNAMENT

7. Miami Heat (38-33)

  • Projected seed:¬†7
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs.¬†Hawks¬†(play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New York: Knicks lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Brooklyn:¬†Nets lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Atlanta:¬†Heat clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Toronto:¬†Raptors¬†lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Washington: Heat leads 2-1 with one to play

8. Atlanta Hawks (34-35)

  • Projected seed:¬†8
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†at Heat (play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Brooklyn:¬†Nets lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami:¬†Heat clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Toronto: Hawks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Washington:¬†Hawks leads 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Chicago: Bulls lead 2-1 with one to play

9. Toronto Raptors (33-36)

  • Projected seed:¬†9
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Wizards (play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Miami:¬†Raptors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Atlanta: Hawks clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Washington:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Indiana:¬†Pacers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Chicago:¬†Raptors clinched

10. Washington Wizards (32-37)

  • Projected seed:¬†10
  • Current first-round matchup: at Raptors (play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Toronto:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Indiana:¬†Pacers currently own via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Chicago:¬†Bulls currently own via conference win percentage

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

11. Indiana Pacers (32-38)

  • Projected seed:¬†Lottery
  • Tiebreaker vs. Toronto:¬†Pacers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Washington:¬†Pacers currently own via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Chicago:¬†Pacers clinched

12. Chicago Bulls (31-37)

  • Projected seed:¬†Lottery
  • Tiebreaker vs. Toronto:¬†Raptors clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Washington:¬†Bulls currently own via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Indiana:¬†Pacers clinched

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Publish Date:2023-03-17 18:00:27

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