For most of the year, there have been three teams at the top of the East standings jostling for position. That battle is set to continue over the final 10 or so games of the season, while the play-in tournament offers some intrigue as well.
Below we take a look at the Eastern Conference standings and playoff picture.
Eastern Conference Standings and Playoff Picture
1. Milwaukee Bucks (51-20)
2. Philadelphia 76ers (48-22), 2.5 GB
3. Boston Celtics (49-23), 2.5 GB
4. Cleveland Cavaliers (45-28), 7.0 GB
5. New York Knicks (42-30), 9.5 GB
6. Brooklyn Nets (39-32), 12.0 GB
7. Miami Heat (39-34), 13.0 GB
8. Atlanta Hawks (35-36), 16.0 GB
9. Toronto Raptors (35-37), 16.5 GB
10. Chicago Bulls (33-37), 17.5 GB
11. Indiana Pacers (32-39), 19.0 GB
12. Washington Wizards (32-39), 19.0 GB
13. Orlando Magic (29-43), 22.5 GB
14. Charlotte Hornets (22-50), 29.5 GB
15. Detroit Pistons (16-56), 35.5 GB
Most of the field is set in the East, but the Wizards could potentially sneak into the final play-in spot. The Pacers are trying to avoid that slot, so they’ll likely keep falling. At the top of the play-in zone, the Heat or Hawks could get out in the No. 6 spot with the Nets struggling. The Knicks and Cavaliers appear set to play each other in the first round.
At the top of the standings, the Bucks, 76ers and Celtics all play each other one more time to close out the year. Those matchups will have a huge impact on which squad ultimately gets homecourt advantage throughout the East playoffs.