Apr 11, 2024 - News

How to fake it: NBA Play-In Tournament

A basketball player about to dunk on the hoop, in front of a court

Obi Toppin's on a scoring streak that could carry the Pacers straight to the playoffs. Photo: Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

The end of the NBA's regular season is rapidly approaching as teams are jockeying for final seeding heading into the playoffs.

Yes, but: Before playoffs tip off on April 20, eight teams will have to survive the Play-In tournament for a shot at postseason glory.

State of play: The Indiana Pacers are currently the 6th seed and could avoid the play-in by winning either of their last two games.

How it works: Teams in the Eastern and Western conferences are seeded No. 1-10. The six teams with the best record in each conference are guaranteed a playoff spot.

  • Teams seeded No. 7-10 have to play their way in, hence the tournament's name.

Zoom in: The No. 7 and 8 seeds will play each other, with the winner of that matchup getting the seventh spot in their respective conference. The losing team gets one more chance.

  • The No. 9 and 10 seeds will play each other. The losing team will see its season come to an end and the winner will face the loser of the No. 7 versus No. 8 game.
  • Whichever team wins that final matchup will get the eighth and final spot in their conference playoffs.

How to watch: The play-in games are April 16-19 and the playoffs start April 20.

What's next: The Pacers play the Cavaliers at 7:30pm Friday in Cleveland on Bally Sports.

  • Their final regular season home game is 1pm Sunday, against Atlanta.
  • They could lose both and hang onto their playoff berth, but it will depend on how other bubble teams perform in the final days of the season.
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Indianapolis.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Indianapolis stories

Indianapolispostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Indianapolis.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more