When do NBA Playoffs start? Key dates for NBA Playoffs schedule

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Playoffs are quickly approaching. The All-Star break is in the rearview mirror, and it is a five-week sprint to the end of the regular season. There is still plenty to be decided as fourth and 12th in the Western Conference are separated by just 4.5 games with two of those teams missing the postseason and heading into the lottery.

The Dallas Mavericks are 33-31 with 18 games left in the regular season. They are clinging to sixth in the West with Dallas being 1.5 games behind the Suns for fourth and 1.5 games up on the Pelicans for tenth. The Mavs are still sorting things out after the Kyrie Irving trade, and they want to keep improving down the stretch and into the playoffs.

With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, how does it work? Who qualifies? When do the playoffs start? What can fans expect? Here is a look at everything supporters need to know.

How many teams qualify for NBA Playoffs?

16 teams qualify for the NBA Playoffs consisting of eight from each conference. The top six teams in each conference based on regular season records (using these tiebreakers) automatically advance with the seventh and eighth seeds being determined by the Play-In Tournament.

What is the format for NBA Playoffs?

NBA Playoffs Bracket: The NBA divides the bracket into the Eastern and Western Conferences with each side seeded one through eight. The first round consists of four matchups, 1 vs. 8, 4 vs. 5, 3 vs. 6, and 2 vs. 7. The winner of the 1 vs. 8 series faces the winner of the 4 vs. 5 series.

NBA Playoffs Rounds: The NBA has four playoff rounds known as the first round, conference semifinals, conference finals, and NBA Finals. The earliest two teams from opposing conferences can play is the NBA Finals.

NBA Playoffs Series: Each series consists of a best-of-seven format. Teams must win four games to advance to the next round.

When do the NBA Playoffs begin?

The first round of the NBA Playoffs starts on April 15, 2023, with the NBA Finals slated to tipoff off on June 1, 2023

What is NBA Play-In Tournament?

The NBA created the Play-In Tournament to stop teams from tanking. Now, two additional teams in each conference get a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

What is the format for NBA Play-In Tournament?

Teams seventh through ten in each conference based on the final regular season standings head to the Play-In Tournament. It is 9 vs. 10 in a one-game matchup with the loser being eliminated and the winner advancing to face the loser of the 7 vs. 8 game for the eighth and final playoff position. The winner of the 7 vs. 8 takes the seventh seed.

Where will Dallas Mavericks finish in playoff seeding?

It is anybody’s guess at this point. The Mavs are in the middle of a crowded pack, but Dallas has the sixth-easiest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon. They are expected to reach the playoffs after the trade, but there are zero guarantees. The Mavericks must play well down the stretch to make it a reality.

How far will the Dallas Mavericks go in the 2023 NBA Playoffs?

The Mavs reached the conference finals last season on the back of their defense, which has been non-existent this year. If Dallas makes the playoffs, expect them to make a quick exit. The Mavericks need another transaction cycle to plug the holes in their roster before making a legitimate run at the championship.

Never count out Luka Doncic, though. He now has a legitimate superstar flanking him in Kyrie Irving, and the 24-year-old could make more playoff magic this year. Fans certainly won't want to miss it, so be sure to tune in and enjoy the show.

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