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NBA play-in tournament 2022: Rules, standings, dates, and schedule

Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 NBA play-in tournament.

Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The NBA debuted its play-in tournament in full force in 2021 with seeds No. 7 through No. 10 competing for the final two spots playoff spots in each conference. Despite the public objections of LeBron James, the play-in tournament felt like a rousing success that ended with the Golden State Warriors surprisingly missing the postseason by losing consecutive games despite finishing with the No. 8 seed in the regular season.

The play-in tournament is back again in 2022, running April 12-15. Once again, it’s shaping up to be a star-studded field that includes All-Stars like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Trae Young, Paul George, LaMelo Ball, and potentially a few more. With huge stakes and a slim margin for error, the play-in tournament promises to be a thrilling appetizer to the NBA playoffs once again.

Here’s what you need to know about the play-in tournament, including key dates, updated standings, and an explanation of how it all works.

How the NBA play-in tournament works

Here’s a graphic explaining the play-in tournament, via

In the old days, the No. 7 and No. 8 seed in each conference would automatically make the playoffs. Not anymore. Now the final two spots in both the East and West are determined by who wins in the play-in tournament.

Here’s how it works: the No. 7 seed and No. 8 seed at the end of the regular season play each other in each conference, with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in the playoffs and a matchup with the conference’s No. 2. The No. 9 seed and the No. 10 seed also face-off. The winner of the 9-10 game advances to face the loser of the 7-8, while the loser of the 9-10 game is eliminated from the postseason.

The losing team from the 7-8 matchup and the winning team of the 9-10 matchup then play one game to determine who gets the No. 8 seed for the final playoff spot in each conference.

2022 NBA play-in tournament updated standings

Updated morning of April 9, 2022

Eastern Conference

Top six seeds have all clinched a playoff berth.

7. Brooklyn Nets | 44-38

8. Cleveland Cavaliers | 44-38

9. Atlanta Hawks | 42-39

10. Charlotte Hornets | 42-39

Everyone else is eliminated.

Western Conference

Top six seeds have all clinched a playoff berth.


7. Minnesota Timberwolves | 46-36

8. Los Angeles Clippers | 42-40

9. New Orleans Pelicans | 36-46

10. San Antonio Spurs | 34-48

When the does the NBA play-in tournament start in 2022?

April 12-15.

When do the 2022 NBA playoffs start?

April 16.

What would the NBA play-in tournament matchups be right now?

East: No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 7 Brooklyn Nets

East: No. 10 Charlotte Hornets at No. 9 Atlanta Hawks

West: No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers at No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves

West: No. 10 San Antonio Spurs at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans

We’ll update this post every day until the play-in tournament field is set.