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NBA Playoff Picture 2023: Updated Standings, Predictions After Lakers vs. Warriors



Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers took another step toward inching back into a playoff berth on Sunday with a much-needed 113-105 win over the Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers still find themselves in 11th place in the Western Conference and likely without LeBron James for an extended period going forward. It isn’t ideal. But a play-in tournament berth is still within striking distance, with the Lakers a half-game back of both the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans.

Below, we’ll break down the updated standings after the big win.

Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Milwaukee Bucks: 45-18
  2. Boston Celtics: 45-19
  3. Philadelphia 76ers: 41-22
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers: 40-26
  5. New York Knicks: 38-27
  6. Brooklyn Nets: 35-28
  7. Miami Heat: 34-31
  8. Atlanta Hawks: 32-32
  9. Toronto Raptors: 32-33
  10. Washington Wizards: 30-33
  11. Indiana Pacers: 29-36
  12. Chicago Bulls: 29-36
  13. Orlando Magic: 27-37
  14. Charlotte Hornets: 20-45
  15. Detroit Pistons: 15-49

Western Conference Standings

  1. Denver Nuggets: 45-19
  2. Memphis Grizzlies: 38-24
  3. Sacramento Kings: 37-26
  4. Phoenix Suns: 36-29
  5. Golden State Warriors: 34-31
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves: 34-32
  7. Dallas Mavericks: 33-32
  8. Los Angeles Clippers: 33-33
  9. Utah Jazz: 31-33
  10. New Orleans Pelicans: 31-33
  11. Los Angeles Lakers: 31-34
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder: 29-34
  13. Portland Trail Blazers: 29-34
  14. San Antonio Spurs: 16-48
  15. Houston Rockets: 14-49

In the Eastern Conference there are three races worth watching: The battle for the top seed between the Bucks and Celtics, the battle for the No. 6 seed and an automatic playoff berth, and the jumble of teams fighting for a play-in berth.

Home-court advantage will be important between two teams as evenly matched as the Celtics and Bucks (or if the emerging 76ers sneak into the conference finals). They play for the final time on March 30. Consider that must-watch television.

Can the new-look Nets hold on to the No. 6 seed? It may be an uphill battle without any superstars to guide them, especially if the Heat or Hawks finally hit their stride this season.

And the final play-in seed in the East is going to get hectic. Arguably no team has underachieved harder than the Bulls this season. Can they figure things out and get themselves into the dance? Indiana, Washington and maybe even Orlando—yes, Orlando—might have something to say about that.

The West has less drama at the top, with the Nuggets running away with the top seed. In fact, the top four seeds seem fairly locked into those berths, with the exception of the Suns looking primed for a run with a healthy Kevin Durant.

But the West is an absolute crapshoot between the Nos. 5 and 13 seeds, with just four games separating those nine teams. At this point any configuration seems possible, and the Lakers certainly aren’t out of the running.

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