Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Zach Koons

2022 NBA Playoff Bracket: Matchups, Dates, Times

The 2022 NBA postseason officially gets underway later this week, beginning with the play-in tournament and followed shortly after by the first round.

This year’s playoff field promises to be entertaining with last season’s NBA Finals representatives, the Bucks and the Suns, leading the way as some of the pre-eminent favorites. However, a number of up-and-coming teams are poised to burst onto the scene in a major way over the next few weeks.

Here’s what you need to know heading into the postseason:

What are the play-in tournament matchups?

For the second year in a row, the NBA has implemented a play-in tournament that will allow four teams from each conference to duke it out for the final two playoff spots in the East and the West. Here’s what the matchups are for this year’s play-in tournament:

Eastern Conference

  • No. 7 Nets vs. No. 8 Cavaliers
  • No. 9 Hawks vs. No. 10 Hornets

Western Conference

  • No. 7 Timberwolves vs. No. 8 Clippers
  • No. 9 Pelicans vs. No. 10 Spurs 

What is the schedule of the play-in tournament games?

The play-in tournament starts with the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchups, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed for the first round of the playoffs. The loser will play the winner of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchup to determine which team will claim the eighth spot in the playoff field.

Here is the play-in tournament schedule:

Tuesday, April 12
Cavaliers vs. Nets, 7 p.m. (TNT)
Clippers vs. Timberwolves, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)

Wednesday, April 13
Hornets vs. Hawks, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Spurs vs. Pelicans, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, April 15
Winner of Hornets/Hawks vs. Loser of Cavaliers/Nets, TBD (ESPN)
Winner of Spurs/Pelicans vs. Loser of Clippers/Timberwolves, TBD (TNT)

What are the first round playoff matchups?

Six teams from each conference had already solidified their spots in the first round of the playoffs. Once the results of the play-in tournament are finalized, the remaining two slots in each conference will be filled.

Eastern Conference:

  • No. 1 Heat vs. No. 8 seed
  • No. 2 Celtics vs. No. 7 seed
  • No. 3 Bucks vs. No. 6 Bulls
  • No. 4 Knicks vs. No. 5 Hawks

Western Conference:

  • No. 1 Suns vs. No. 8 seed
  • No. 2 Grizzlies vs. No. 7 seed
  • No. 3 Warriors vs. No. 6 Nuggets
  • No. 4 Mavericks vs. No. 5 Jazz

When are the first round playoff games?

The NBA has yet to finalize the schedule for each first-round series. However, the league did reveal when each opening round Game 1 will take place.

Saturday, April 16
Game 1: Jazz vs. Mavericks, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 1: West No. 7 vs. Grizzlies, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 1: Raptors vs. 76ers, 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 1: Nuggets vs. Warriors, 8:30 p.m. (ABC)

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.