In the final week of the season, the talk of the Los Angeles Lakers having to get into the postseason via the play-in tournament is all the rage.
But that’s not the only compelling playoff push with seven days left in the NBA’s 2020-21 regular season.
The top seeds aren’t locked just yet, and teams are jockeying for position throughout the standings.
We take a look the scenarios in the Eastern and Western conferences headed into Monday’s games and see who is in solid position, a precarious situation and on the outside looking in while factoring in the tiebreakers that could be the difference between a guaranteed playoff spot and the play-in game format.
The Knicks are in fourth place but just a game ahead of Atlanta and Miami, both tied for fifth place with 37-31 records. The Knicks have the tiebreaker over the Hawks but not the Heat.
If the Knicks, Hawks and Heat finish with identical records, Atlanta would be the fourth seed, based on the Hawks winning the division on the head-to-head tiebreaker against Miami, which would end up fifth and the Knicks sixth. The Heat are in a situation where they could finish fourth or seventh.