The NBA 2023 postseason bracket is now finalized

Apr 9 2023, 10:11 pm

After a fun, grueling, chaotic, and otherwise downright wild NBA season, the league’s 2023 postseason bracket is finally set.

In a year that saw blockbuster trades, more than a few storylines that made us say “WTF?”, and the only guarantee being that there would be no guarantees in the league, the NBA postseason is just around the corner after regular season games wrapped on Sunday.

Kicking off with a pair of play-in games this Tuesday, here’s what the NBA postseason bracket looks like for 2023:

NBA Postseason Bracket 2023

Eastern Conference

No. 1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Winner of No. 8 seed play-in
No. 2. Boston Celtics vs. Winner of No. 7 seed play-in

No. 3. Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6. Brooklyn Nets 

Perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid leads the 76ers against a divisional rival in Brooklyn, who have undergone arguably the biggest changes of any team in the NBA this season following the departures of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a series of blockbuster trades.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. New York Knicks 

Cleveland and New York are both looking to make noise this postseason, with Cleveland making their first playoff appearance since 2018, and the Knicks having just one playoff appearance since 2013, back in 2021.

Play-in games:

No. 8 Atlanta Hawks @ No. 7 Miami Heat: Tuesday, April 11, 7 pm ET

Atlanta and Miami meet in a matchup of two teams who have fallen in the 2021 and 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, respectively. Though both teams likely had higher ambitions coming into this season, they’ll be taking the long road to a title if they’re able to pull it off this year.

No. 10 Chicago Bulls @ No. 9 Toronto Raptors, Wednesday, April 12, 7 pm ET

With the Toronto Raptors finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference, they’ll be hosting the Chicago Bulls in a do-or-die game this upcoming Wednesday with the winner advancing to play the loser of the 7-8 game.

Western Conference

No. 1 Denver Nuggets vs. Winner of No. 8 seed play-in
No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies vs Winner of No. 7 seed play-in

No. 3 Sacramento Kings vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors

Making their first playoff appearance since 2006, the Kings have arguably been the best feel-good story of the 2022-23 season. They’ll be facing an experienced Golden State side, in a state-wide battle that will be sure to be one of the NBA’s most-watched first round series.

No. 4. Phoenix Suns vs. No. 5 LA Clippers

The LA Clippers weren’t probably expecting to see Kevin Durant in the playoffs anytime soon when he left the team in free agency to Brooklyn back in 2019. But the Clippers — led by Kawhi Leonard — will be taking on an old foe in the 4-5 matchup, as both teams look to win their first NBA title in franchise history.

Play-in games:

No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves @ No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers, Tuesday, April 11, TBD

LeBron James heads into the play-in game for the second time in his career, after missing the postseason entirely in 2022.

Minnesota advanced out of last season’s play-in tournament, but fell 4-2 in the first round of the playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies.

No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder @ No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans, Wednesday, April 12, TBD

Led by Toronto native Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder are hoping to upset a Pelicans side that hasn’t quite hit their stride yet this season.

New Orleans is without Zion Williamson, who is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury that is expected to limit his participation even should the Pelicans advance out of the play-in, as he’s been out since January 2.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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