When do the NBA playoffs start in 2020? Dates, TV schedule, updated standings & seeding scenarios

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With only a little over a month left in the 2019-20 NBA regular season, teams are still jockeying for playoff position.

The Bucks and Lakers appear to have the top spots locked down in their respective conferences, but the playoff seeds below them are very much up in the air.

Which NBA teams will clinch playoff berths as the regular season comes to a close? Check out the updated standings below along with potential playoff matchups.

MORE: Latest standings | Daily NBA schedule

When do the 2020 NBA playoffs start?

  • Start date: Saturday, April 18
  • End date: Sunday, June 21

The last day of the 2019-20 NBA regular season is Wednesday, April 15. The 2020 NBA playoffs tip off three days later on Saturday, April 18.

The conference semifinals will begin May 4-5 (possible move up to May 2-3), and the conference finals will start May 19-20 (possible move up to May 17-18). The 2020 NBA Finals will begin June 4 and end no later than June 21.

NBA playoff schedule 2020

Playoff round Start date
First round April 18
Conference semifinals May 4-5 (possible move up to May 2-3)
Conference finals May 19-20 (possible move up to May 17-18)
NBA Finals June 4 (last possible game June 21)

NBA playoff games will be carried by ABC, ESPN, NBA TV and TNT. The Eastern Conference finals will be shown on ESPN, and the Western Conference finals will be aired on TNT. ABC will broadcast all NBA Finals games.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

A total of 16 teams — eight from each conference — will participate in the NBA playoffs with the higher seed in each series holding home-court advantage. In the event both No. 1 seeds advance to the NBA Finals, the team with the better record will start the series at home.

Each series follows a best-of-seven (2-2-1-1-1) format, meaning the higher seed hosts Games 1, 2, 5 and 7 while the lower seed hosts Games 3, 4 and 6. The magic number for an NBA championship is 16 wins (four each round).

NBA standings 2020: Eastern Conference

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Bucks* 53-12
2. Raptors* 46-18 6.5
3. Celtics* 43-21 9.5
4. Heat 41-24 12
5. Pacers 39-26 14
6. 76ers 39-26 14
7. Nets 30-34 22.5
8. Magic 30-35 23
Wizards 24-40 28.5
Hornets 23-42 30
Bulls 22-43 31
Knicks 21-45 32.5
Pistons 20-46 33.5
Hawks 20-47 34
Cavaliers 19-46 34

*clinched playoff berth

NBA standings 2020: Western Conference

Seed Team Record Games back
1. Lakers* 49-14
2. Clippers 44-20 5.5
3. Nuggets 43-22 7
4. Jazz 41-23 8.5
5. Thunder 40-24 9.5
6. Rockets 40-24 9.5
7. Mavericks 40-27 11
8. Grizzlies 32-33 18
Trail Blazers 29-37 21.5
Pelicans 28-36 21.5
Kings 28-36 21.5
Spurs 27-36 22
Suns 26-39 24
Timberwolves 19-45 30.5

*clinched playoff berth

Eliminated from playoff contention: Warriors

(Note: Full NBA rules for tiebreakers can be found HERE.)

NBA playoff matchups 2020

Here's what the NBA's first-round playoff matchups would be if the regular season ended today.

Eastern Conference

(1) Bucks vs. (8) Magic

(2) Raptors vs. (7) Nets

(3) Celtics vs. (6) 76ers

(4) Heat vs. (5) Pacers

Western Conference

(1) Lakers vs. (8) Grizzlies

(2) Clippers vs. (7) Mavericks

(3) Nuggets vs. (6) Rockets

(4) Jazz vs. (5) Thunder

Odds to win 2020 NBA championship

The top-seeded Lakers (+225) and Bucks (+275) are the favorites to win the 2020 NBA Finals, with the Clippers closely behind at +400.

Team Odds
Lakers +225
Bucks +275
Clippers +400
Celtics +1200
Rockets +1400
Raptors +1600
Nuggets +2000
76ers +2500
Jazz +2500
Mavericks +3300
Heat +3300
Thunder +4000
Pacers +5000

(Championship odds from BetOnline via Sports Insider)

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