NBA Playoffs

When do the NBA playoffs start? Schedule, format and more to know

The final day of the regular season is less than a month away.

NBA playoffs logo
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
FILE -- A view of an NBA basketball and the NBA playoffs logo.

The push for the NBA playoffs is on.

The last day of the 2023-24 NBA regular season is less than a month away, meaning postseason basketball is quickly approaching.

There are several races throughout the Eastern and Western Conference standings that could come down to the final days of the regular season, like the battle for the top seed in the West and teams jockeying to stay above the play-in tournament zone.

As the action across the league heats up down the stretch of the regular season, here's what to know:

How many games are in an NBA season?

Each team plays 82 regular-season games.

When does the NBA regular season end?

The final day of the regular season is Sunday, April 14.

How many teams from each conference go to the NBA playoffs?

A total of 16 teams -- eight from both conferences -- make the NBA playoffs. The top six seeds in each conference automatically qualify for the playoffs, while the final two spots are determined by the play-in tournament.

When is the 2024 NBA play-in tournament?

The play-in tournament starts two days after the end of the regular season, running from April 16-19.

How does the NBA play-in tournament work?

First, the seventh-place team faces the eighth-place team and the ninth-place team plays the 10th-place team. The teams play just one game, with the team higher in the standings having home-court advantage.

The winner of the 7-8 matchup earns the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. The loser of that matchup then hosts the winner of the 9-10 matchup, with the No. 8 seed in the playoffs on the line.

So, teams that finish the season in seventh or eighth place just need to win one play-in tournament game to clinch a playoff berth. Teams that finish ninth or 10th have to win two games.

When do the NBA playoffs start in 2024?

The first round of the NBA playoffs gets underway on Saturday, April 20.

How do the NBA playoffs work?

Every round of the NBA playoffs features seven-game series with a 2-2-1-1-1 format where the higher seed holds home-court advantage and hosts Games 1, 2, 5 (if necessary) and 7 (if necessary). The first-round matchups are No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

Do the NBA playoffs reseed?

Unlike the NFL playoffs, teams aren't reseeded after the first round. So the winner of the 1-8 matchup faces the winner of the 4-5 matchup in Round 2, while the winner of the 2-7 matchup faces the winner of the 3-6 matchup.

Schedule, key dates for 2024 NBA playoffs

Here's a full look at when the first three rounds of the playoffs will get underway:

First round: April 20

Second round: May 6-7 (can be moved up to May 4-5 if first-round series end early)

Conference finals: May 21-22 (can be moved up to May 19-20 if second-round series end early)

When are the 2024 NBA Finals?

The NBA Finals begin June 6, with a possible Game 7 scheduled for June 23.

Does NBA League Pass include the playoffs?

An NBA League pass subscription does not include access to playoff games. Playoff games will air across ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBA TV.

With March Madness around the corner, here's a look at some top NBA draft prospects to keep your eye on during the tournament.
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