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NBA playoff picture, standings: Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Clippers in battle for homecourt

The NBA regular season is starting to wind down, but the race for the playoffs and postseason seeding is beginning to heat up.

Which teams will make the NBA playoffs, which begin with the first round on April 15?

How will the seeding play out?

What's the deal with the play-in tournament that runs from April 11-14?

Take a look at the NBA playoff picture and standings for each conference heading into Friday's games.

An interesting battle for homecourt in the first round of the NBA playoffs continues with the Phoenix Suns (41-35), Los Angeles Clippers (41-36) and Golden State Warriors (40-37) separated by just 1.5 games in the standings for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

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Western Conference standings:

  • 1. Nuggets (51-25)

  • 2. Grizzlies (48-28) 3 games back

  • 3. Kings (46-30) 5 games back

  • 4. Suns (41-35) 10 games back

  • 5. Clippers (41-36) 10.5 games back

  • 6. Warriors (40-37) 11.5 games back

  • 7. Pelicans (39-38) 12.5 games back

  • 8. Timberwolves (39-38) 12.5 games back

  • 9. Lakers (38-38) 13 games back

  • 10. Thunder (38-39) 13.5 games back

  • 11. Mavericks (37-40) 14.5 games back

  • 12. Jazz (36-40) 15 games back

  • 13. Trail Blazers (32-44) 19 games back

  • 14. Spurs (19-57) 32 games back

  • 15. Rockets (18-59) 33.5 games back

Western Conference playoff picture (if postseason began today):

  • 1. Denver Nuggets vs. Winner of No. 8 seed play-in

  • 2. Memphis Grizzlies vs Winner of No. 7 seed play-in

  • 3. Sacramento Kings vs. 6. Golden State Warriors

  • 4. Phoenix Suns vs. 5. LA Clippers

Western Conference Play-In Tournament:

  • 7. New Orleans Pelicans vs. No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves

Winner of game advances as the No. 7 seed in Western Conference playoffs, while the loser plays the winner of Lakers vs. Thunder game for the No. 8 seed.

  • 9. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 10. Oklahoma City Thunder

Winner advances to an elimination game vs. the loser of Pelicans vs. Timberwolves game for the No. 8 seed in Western Conference playoffs, while the loser is eliminated.

More: What LeBron James' return means for the Los Angeles Lakers' postseason chances

Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference, but not by much.
Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference, but not by much.

Eastern Conference standings:

  • 1. Bucks (55-22)

  • 2. Celtics (53-24) 2 games back

  • 3. 76ers (50-26) 4.5 games back

  • 4. Cavaliers (48-29) 7 games back

  • 5. Knicks (44-33) 11 games back

  • 6. Nets (41-35) 13.5 games back

  • 7. Heat (40-37) 15 games back

  • 8. Hawks (38-38) 16.5 games back

  • 9. Raptors (38-38) 16.5 games back

  • 10. Bulls (36-40) 18.5 games back

  • 11. Wizards (34-42) 20.5 games back

  • 12. Pacers (33-44) 22 games back

  • 13. Magic (32-44) 22.5 games back

  • 14. Hornets (26-51) 29 games back

  • 15. Pistons (16-60) 38.5 games back

Eastern Conference playoff picture (if postseason began today):

  • 1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. Winner of No. 8 seed play-in

  • 2. Boston Celtics vs. Winner of No. 7 seed play-in

  • 3. Philadelphia 76ers vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets

  • 4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. New York Knicks

Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament:

  • 7. Miami Heat vs. 8. Atlanta Hawks

Winner of game  advances as the No. 7 seed in Eastern Conference playoffs, while the loser plays the winner of Raptors vs. Bulls game for the No. 8 seed.

  • 9. Toronto Raptors vs. 10. Chicago Bulls

Winner advances to an elimination game vs. the loser of Heat vs. Hawks game for the No. 8 seed in Eastern Conference playoffs, while the loser is eliminated.

Friday's NBA game schedule

  • Raptors vs. 76ers, 4 p.m., MST

  • Bulls vs. Hornets, 4 p.m., MST

  • Thunder vs. Pacers, 4 p.m., MST

  • Magic vs. Wizards, 4 p.m., MST

  • Jazz vs. Celtics, 4:30 p.m., MST

  • Knicks vs. Cavaliers, 4:30 p.m., MST

  • Hawks vs. Nets, 4:30 p.m., MST

  • Pistons vs. Rockets, 5 p.m., MST

  • Clippers vs. Grizzlies, 5 p.m., MST

  • Lakers vs. Timberwolves, 5 p.m., MST

  • Kings vs. Trail Blazers, 7 p.m., MST

  • Spurs vs. Warriors, 7 p.m., MST

  • Nuggets vs. Suns, 7:30 p.m., MST

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: NBA playoff picture, standings, postseason matchups, seeds for 2023