The Ultimate Guide to the 2024 NBA Playoffs Bracket

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NBA has come back this year with a bang. The Playoff season is full of thrill, drama, and suspense, which is why the crowd is going crazy about who is going to win.

So, let's start with what exactly is a Playoff tournament. In a nutshell, it is a knock-out style tournament from North American Basketball Association, popular for its format and players. It is played each year after the regular season and has an insane following from all around the States.

Want to know more about it? Here is all you need to know about the NBA Playoff 2023, from bracket to seeding, matchups, and predictions. So, let's get in.

nba playoff 2023

1. Overview of the NBA Playoffs 2023

NBA Playoffs 2023 are the post-season tournaments between the sixteen winning teams of the regular NBA series. It is a knock-out style series with a total size pool of approximately $27.5 million. Typically, this tournament last for about two months (between April 15 and June 19). This year, too, it is divided into two conferences and has the final scheduled between June 1 and 19.

Explanation of the Playoff Structure

NBA Playoff is an off-season tournament divided into two brackets. Each bracket has a specific set of teams (determined by their performance in the regular season) that compete with each other within the bracket over three rounds, First Round, Conference Semifinals, and Conference Finals.

Next, the final round of the conference matches produces two finalists that come together and compete for the title of the NBA Playoff champion. Here are some key dates of the tournament.

  • April 15 (Start of First Round)
  • April 29 (Start of Semifinals)
  • May 16 (Start of Finals)
  • June 1 (NBA finale)

Number of Teams and Conference Divisions

There are a total of two conferences in the NBA Playoffs, the Eastern and Western Conference. Each conference is divided into eight teams. These teams are selected on the basis of their performance in the regular NBA season.

Seeding and Qualification Criteria

The qualification of teams is based on seeding, also known as the best-of-seven-method among the Play-in matchups. It simply means the teams with the most won Play-in games will have a higher rank. Hence, the team in first rank will have the most leads during the regular Play-in season, followed by second rank, and so on. And here is the seeding of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.

  • The teams on the first four teams will also have a home-court advantage.
Western Conference Qualifiers/ Seeds
(Ranking 1-8)
Eastern Conference Qualifiers/ Seeds
(Ranking 1-8)
Denver Nuggets Milwaukee Bucks
Memphis Grizzlies Memphis Grizzlies
Sacramento Kings Philadelphia 76ers
Phoenix Suns Cleveland Cavaliers
LA Clippers New York Knicks
Golden State Warriors Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Lakers Atlanta Hawks
Minnesota Timberwolves Miami Heat
New Orleans Pelicans (Eliminated in Play-ins) Toronto Raptors (Eliminated in Play-ins)
Oklahoma City Thunders (Eliminated in Play-ins) Chicago Bulls (Eliminated in Play-ins)

2. NBA Playoffs Bracket

According to the format of the NBA Playoffs, there are two brackets, Eastern and Western Conference. Each bracket has eight teams that will compete within the conference in the first three stages of the game. Towards the finals, each bracket will have a finalist, which will then compete to get the championship of the 2023 Playoffs.

NBA Playoffs Bracket Format

Here is a complete breakdown of how intra-conference matches are arranged within each bracket over the three rounds.

#1 First Round

  • Team 1 Vs. Team 8
  • Team 2 Vs. Team 7
  • Team 3 Vs. Team 6
  • Team 4 Vs. Team 5

Teams 1, 2, 3, and 4 will play all the matches within each bracket on their home court. And this is determined by their performances in the play-ins.

#2 Conference Semifinals

  • (Winner of Team 1 Vs. Team 8) will have four games, with the (winner of Team 4 Vs. Team 5)
  • (Winner of Team 3 Vs. Team 6) will have four games, with the (winner of Team 2 Vs. Team 7)

#3 Conference Finals

At this stage, each bracket will have two teams, the winner of the first semifinal game and the winner of the second semifinal game. They will confront each other to produce the finalist.

#4 NBA Playoffs Final

The two finalists from each bracket will have seven matchups on the home court of the leading team. The one with the majority of wins will be the champion of the 2023 Playoffs.

3. NBA Playoff Tree

Tree Format

The NBA Playoffs tree is a great way to follow up on the matches and determine who is on a lead now. It has a petty basic format that represents the intra-conference matchups and how each game has progressed. In the center or core, you have your finalists who will be facing off each other in the NBA finals. Following is an account of who beats whom in the 2023 Playoffs. So, let's get in.

Progress of Team through the Tree

Progress of Eastern Conference Bracket Through Each Round

  • First Round
Game Lead
Rank 1 Milwaukee Bucks Vs. Rank 8 Miami Heat Heat (4-1)
Rank 2 Boston Celtics Vs. Rank 7 Atlanta Hawks Celtics (4-2)
Rank 3 Philadelphia 76ers Vs. Rank 6 Brooklyn Nets 76ers (4-0)
  • Conference Semifinals
Game Lead
Rank 5 New York Knicks Vs. Rank 8 Miami Heat (Rank 8) Heat (4-2)
Rank 2 Boston Celtics Vs. Rank 3 Philadelphia 7ers Celtics (4-3)
  • Conference Finals
Game Lead
Rank 2 Boston Celtics Vs. Rank 8 Miami Heat Heat (1-0)

Progress of Western Conference Bracket Through Each Round

  • First Round
Game Lead
Rank 1 Denver Nuggets Vs. Rank 8 Minnesota Timberwolves Nuggets (4-1)
Rank 2 Memphis Grizzles Vs. Rank 7 Los Angeles Lakers Lakers (4-2)
Rank 3 Sacramento Kings Vs. Rank 6 Golden State Warriors Warriors (4-3)
  • Conference Semifinals
Game Lead
Rank 1 Denver Nuggets Vs. Rank 4 Phoenix Suns Nuggets (4-2)
Rank 6 Golden State Warriors Vs. Rank 7 Los Angeles Lakers Lakers (4-2)
  • Conference Finals
Game Lead
Rank 1 Denver Nuggets Vs. Rank 7 Los Angeles Lakers Nuggets (1-0)

Notable Moments and Series within the Playoff Tree

  • Golden State Warriors Vs. Sacramento Kings

Talking about the nail-biting series of the NBA 2023 Playoffs? We cannot miss this memorable round of games. The two games that were determined at the last minute got everyone thrilled. Not only this, Green stomping on Sabonis' Chest and getting mad when he didn't shake hands with him was full of drama and suspense.

  • Denver Nuggets Vs. Phoenix Suns

The reason why everyone was waiting for this round was the partnership between Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. These two combined made about 56% of the points against Denver in the first two games. And in the third game, they completed it to 87, making them the best performers of this round.

  • Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Golden State Warriors

This game was among the most awaited, partly because Stephen Curry was facing James LeBron for the fifth time in the history of Playoffs. Not only this, it was a tactical explosion of the series. In the first two games, the Warriors changed their line of defense against Anthony Davis. They also tried switching the ball screens, which was something new for State Warriors.

4. Key Storylines and Highlights

Standout Performances and Game-Changing Moments

Performances are the highlight of the NBA Playoff seasons. Each year, some players leave a mark for their stellar performances during this season. And this year is no different. So, here are some worth mentioning players from the series.

  • Devin Booker from Phoenix Suns (Game 5 against LAC)
  • James Harden from Philadephia 76ers (Game 4 against BOS)
  • Jayson Tatum from Boston Celtics (Game 7 against PHI)
  • Stephen Curry from Golden State Warriors (Game 7 against Sacramento)

Impactful Injuries and Their Influence on the Playoffs

  • Tyler Herro's hand injury in Game 1 (First Round) against the Bucks resulted in him missing the entire tournament.
  • Victor Oladipo is out of the tournament because of his knee injury during Game 3 of the First Round.
  • Anthony Davis got a head injury in Game 5 against San Franciso. Fortunately, he was available for the next game.

5. How to Create Your Own NBA 2023 Match Schedule

Creating your own NBA Playoff schedule is no challenge with EdrawMind., all thanks to Its templates for drafting a schedule. All of these templates are fully editable and ready. A few tweaks and its all yours. Here is how to use these EdrawMind templates:

  1. Open the EdrawMind Online on your browser or download its app.
  2. Sign up for an account. Once logged in,, scroll down the main menu to find templates.
  3. Click More Templates and type Schedule in the search box. Choose any example of your liking and start editing it. Add your teams, players, dates, and sequence in which the matches will be played.
  4. Customize the diagram accordingly. Once ready, all you need to do is click File > Save As > Any Option, and ta-da, the map is all set to go.

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6. What's Next

With the finals coming near, analysts and fans are speculating about who will win the championship. And the most probable chance of victory lies with either Boston or Denver. That said, you never know who gets lucky on the final day. So, keep praying for your team to get the award.