Here Are The Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups For The First Round And Play-In

The 2023-24 NBA regular season came to a close on Sunday afternoon, with every team in the East (sans Detroit) playing at 1 p.m. ET. While the Boston Celtics had long locked up the No. 1 seed in the conference and the Bulls and Hawks have been destined for the 9-10 Play-In game since January, the 2-8 seeds were all up for grabs on the final day of the regular season.

Seemingly no one wanted to land the No. 2 spot, as that meant you’d face the winner of Heat-Sixers in the Play-In, with both being dangerous potential foes. Still, there’s some danger (perhaps karmic, if nothing else) in hunting out the optimal opponent, and we’ll see if any teams pay the price for trying to dodge. Although all the games started at the same time, some went quicker than others and the first seeding to get locked up was Cleveland into the 4-seed as they worked particularly hard in the fourth quarter to blow a lead to the Hornets and ensure they were not going to find themselves in the 2-seed.

From there, the Pacers took care of business against Atlanta to lock down the 6-seed and the final guaranteed playoff berth. It also became quickly apparent in the second half that the Magic were going to roll past the Bucks to lock up the 5-seed, leaving the decision to the Knicks, who were locked in a back-and-forth overtime game with the Bulls in the Garden as to who would get the 2-seed. New York ultimately was able to grind out a one-point win, securing the 2-seed and bumping the Bucks to third.

That means the East Playoff picture is fully set, with the first round matchups below.

NBA Playoffs First Round

1. Boston Celtics vs. 8. Heat/Sixers/Bulls/Hawks
2. New York Knicks vs. 7. Heat/Sixers
3. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 6. Indiana Pacers
4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. Orlando Magic

Play-In Tournament (Wednesday, April 17)

7. Philadelphia 76ers vs. 8. Miami Heat (7 p.m. ET)
9. Chicago Bulls vs. 10. Atlanta Hawks (9:30 p.m. ET)