NBA Playoffs 2023 | A Quick Guide for Beginners
Who will make it to the NBA Finals? Follow the thrilling journey of the 2023 Playoffs with the updated playoff bracket and matchups.
Yes, it is that season of the year; the NBA Playoffs craze is back in 2023. The excitement is at its peak, and everyone can feel it. But what makes Playoffs so special and superior to the regular season?
For starters, NBA Playoffs is a matchup between two conferences (divided into eight teams each). Every year, these teams compete within and outside conferences to produce finalists of the Playoff season, which then play a series of matches to decide the final of the regular season.
And this year, it is no different. All the fans and NBA enthusiasts are expecting brilliance. Here is all you need to know about the 2023 NBA Playoffs, its schedule, and seeding. So, let’s get in.
1. Overview of NBA Playoffs 2023
The 2023 NBA Playoffs are the post-season tournaments and represent the second part of the regular NBA season. The entire tournament is played between April 15 and June 9. Usually, the finals are played until June 18, deciding the champion of the series.
In this series, sixteen teams, divided into two conferences or NBA Playoffs brackets, Eastern and Western, come together to face each other in three rounds. These rounds are known as First Round, Semifinals, and Conference Finals. The confrontation between these qualifiers is based on their scoring and ranking in regular NBA tournaments.
The teams are selected from each NBA Playoffs bracket through seeding. For this, the best-of-seven method is used, which pretty much gives a lead to those who have more wins in the games. For instance, the winner of the first round from each conference is the one who gets the most leads in the regular play-ins. Here is a breakdown of the teams selected through seeding from each conference.
Eastern Conference Seeds/ Qualifiers for First Round
- Rank 1: Milwaukee Bucks
- Rank 2: Boston Celtics
- Rank 3: Philadelphia 76ers
- Rank 4: Cleveland Cavaliers
- Rank 5: New York Knicks
- Rank 6: Brooklyn Nets
- Rank 7: Atlanta Hawks
- Rank 8: Miami Heat
Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls were eliminated in the Play-ins.
Western Conference Seeds/ Qualifiers for First Round
- Rank 1: Denver Nuggets
- Rank 2: Memphis Grizzlies
- Rank 3: Sacramento Kings
- Rank 4: Phoenix Suns
- Rank 5: LA Clippers
- Rank 6: Golden State Warriors
- Rank 7: Los Angeles Lakers
- Rank 8: Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunders were eliminated in the Play-ins.
2. NBA Playoffs Bracket
There are two NBA Playoffs brackets, one for the Western Conference and the other for the Eastern. In a bracket, there are a total of eight teams determined by seeding. The first phase of matchups is intra-conference. After the three rounds are complete, each bracket has a winner. Next, the two winners from each bracket compete to get the champion title.
As I explained previously, the sequence of their matches for the first round, semifinals, and finals is determined by seeding after deciding on the teams. For this, the best-of-seven method is used. Here is a complete explanation of the seeding process for each bracket.
The order of matchups or seeding in the first round is as follows;
- Rank 1 Vs. Rank 8
- Rank 2 Vs. Rank 7
- Rank 3 Vs. Rank 6
- Rank 4 Vs. Rank 5
Here, the first four ranked teams have the advantage of the home court, considering their performance in the regular NBA season record.
At this stage, the matchups are still intra-conference. And the order of confrontations is pretty similar and based on the best-of-seven formats. Here is a simple breakdown of the sequence of matches in the Conference Semifinals.
- (The winner of rank 1 Vs. 8) will confront (the winner of rank 4 Vs. 5)
- (The winner of rank 3 Vs. 6) will confront (the winner of rank 2 Vs. 7)
After the semifinals are complete, there will be two teams left for the Finals within each conference. They will have a face-off later on, and the champion of the NBA Playoffs will be selected.
NBA Playoffs Finals
Now that the series is finished, both the final teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences will have a series of matches. These seven matches are played on the home court of the champion of the Conference Finals. And the winner of this tournament gets the title of the winner of the 2023 NBA Champions.
Key Dates in the 2023 NBA Playoffs
- April 15: Beginning of the NBA Conference First Round
- April 29: Beginning of the NBA Conference Semifinals
- May 16: Beginning of the NBA Conference Finals
- June 1: NBA Final
3. NBA Playoff Tree
An NBA Playoff tree tells us what happened in the series and how the teams from each conference bracket progressed. It gives us a detailed account of the match-offs from the First Round to the Semifinals and Finals. So, if you haven’t yet followed all the confrontations and need to catch up on who is leading what, the NBA Playoff Tree is your savior.
Let’s Visualize the Progression of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Brackets!
Eastern Conference First Round
- Milwaukee Bucks (Rank 1) Vs. Miami Heat (Rank 8) - Heat with a lead (4/1)
- Boston Celtics (Rank 2) Vs. Atlanta Hawks (Rank 7) - Celtics with a lead (4/2)
- Philadelphia 76ers (Rank 3) Vs. Brooklyn Nets (Rank 6) - 76ers with a lead (4/0)
Eastern Conference First Round
- Denver Nuggets (Rank 1) Vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (Rank 8) - Nuggets with a lead (4/1)
- Memphis Grizzles (Rank 2) Vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Rank 7) - Lakers with a lead (4/2)
- Sacramento Kings (Rank 3) Vs. Golden State Warriors (Rank 6) - Warriors with a lead (4/3)
Eastern Conference Semifinals
- New York Knicks (Rank5) Vs. Miami Heat (Rank 8) - Heat with a lead (4/2)
- Boston Celtics (Rank 2) Vs. Philadelphia 7ers (Rank 3) - Celtics with a lead (4/3)
Western Conference Semifinals
- Denver Nuggets (Rank 1) Vs. Phoenix Suns (Rank 4) - Nuggets with a lead (4/2)
- Golden State Warriors (Rank 6) Vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Rank 7) - Lakers with a lead (4/2)
Eastern Conference Finals
- Boston Celtics (Rank 2) Vs. Miami Heat (Rank 8) - Heat with a lead (1/0)
Western Conference Finals
- Denver Nuggets (Rank 1) Vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Rank 7) - Nuggets with a lead (1/0)
4. Key Storylines and Highlights
Standout Performances and Game-Changing Moments
The regular season NBA performances are important, but Playoffs are something else, partly because of their popularity. Every year, audiences are closely watching their favorites. And this year, too, NBA is full of stellar performances from players who were committed to winning the championship. Here are some of the noteworthy mentions from the 2023 Playoffs.
- LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers - Game 4 Against MEM
- Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers - Game 1 Against GS
- Devin Bookers Phoenix Suns - Game 3 Against DEN
- James Harden Philidelphia 7ers - Game 4 Against BOS
Impactful Injuries and their Influence on the Playoffs
Injuries are a part of the game, but sadly, they can get your favorite players out of the tournament. And in 2023, Miami Tyler’s Herro and LA’s Anthony Davis are among the ones who are suffering from bad fortune lately. Here is a breakdown of all the major injuries that have changed the games thoroughly.
Eastern Conference - Miami Heat Tyler Herros’ Hand Injury
Unfortunately, Herro got his middle and ring finger badly broken in Game 1 of the first round against the Bucks. And he is advised at least to have a rest of six weeks before the surgery.
Eastern Conference - Miami Heat Victor Oladipos’ Knee Injury
He suffered a knee injury in Game 3 of the first-round Eastern Conference. Sadly, he will miss the rest of the season.
Western Conference - Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis Head Injury
Anthony Davis got a head injury while he was playing Game 5 in San Francisco. However, Darvin Ham, the head coach of the team, said that Davis would join them in Game 6, and he did.
5. How to Create Your Own NBA 2023 Match Schedule
Now that you are already aware of the structure of NBA Playoffs, it is time to create your own schedule. And EdrawMax has a number of templates for this. All you need to do is select the one that appeals to you and start editing. And here is how you can do it.
- First, download EdrawMax on your laptop or open it in the browser. Sign up for the account and enter the login information.
- Click Templates from the main menu and type NBA Playoff Schedule in the search box.
- Find a model example just like shown in the picture and click Use Immediately. This will export all the elements of the template to the editing panel.
- Start adding teams, dates, and players according to the schedule you have.
- Next, you can always change its themes and color scheme from the right-side information panel, and voila, your own NBA Playoff schedule is here.
- Click File > Save As > Preferred Option to save your playoff schedule. You can also share this schedule with other people by editing the permission access.
6. What’s Next
So, now that each conference has come into the final phase of the competition, the entire scene is nail-biting. The next week is especially critical, given that it will give us the two finalists. However, Boston is still a favorite to win after it has defeated Celtics, which was absolutely a beast in the tournament. That being said, don’t let the analysis get to you; let’s just hope our team wins.