The 2019 NBA Playoffs are one night away from being set, and there are still things to be decided in both conferences. But in the Eastern Conference, two teams are battling to lock up the final spot. Beyond that, the bottom three seeds can also wind up a number of different ways as well.
For starters, the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets are the two teams fighting for the only remaining available spot in the East. After both won on Tuesday night, it left the Pistons at 40-41 with the Hornets at 39-42.
Let’s take a look at the East standings and updated playoff picture with one final regular season day of action left.
Eastern Conference Playoff Picture & Standings
*Notates team locked into current seed
- 1. *Milwaukee Bucks 60-21
- 2. *Toronto Raptors 58-24
- 3. *Philadelphia 76ers 50-31
- 4. *Boston Celtics 49-33
- 5. *Indiana Pacers 47-34
- 6. Brooklyn Nets 41-40
- 7. Orlando Magic 41-40
- 8. Detroit Pistons 40-41
- Charlotte Hornets 39-42
According to PlayoffStatus.com, only the Brooklyn Nets or Orlando Magic can finish as the No. 6 seed. With that said, the Magic can finish anywhere from No. 6-8 when Wednesday wraps up, but the site currently gives them a 46 percent chance of holding the No. 7 seed. Brooklyn can’t fall further than No. 7, and if they defeat the Miami Heat, who were eliminated on Tuesday, they clinch the six seed.
Things can get very interesting with the Pistons and Hornets, and the outcome of their games may wind up impacting the Magic and possibly the Nets as well. But the primary focus for both is finding a way to clinch a playoff berth first and foremost.
Detroit Pistons & Charlotte Hornets Playoff Chances
For the Pistons, it’s a simple win and get in outlook. They face the 17-win New York Knicks on the road, so Detroit fans should feel pretty confident about their chances to lock up one of the final playoff spots. But if they win, things can get interesting based on the result of Charlotte’s game.
Kemba Walker and the Hornets face the Orlando Magic in a nationally televised game on ESPN. If the Hornets win and the Pistons lose, then they’ll lock up a playoff spot. As Playoff Status shows, Charlotte can’t finish higher than No. 8, so a loss for the Magic would only hurt their seeding if Detroit wins as well.
While a Pistons loss and Hornets win would leave the teams with the same record, Charlotte holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. But a victory for Andre Drummond and company paired with a Magic loss would leave them with the same record, and Detroit won the head-to-head series this season.