The Guide to the 2022 NBA Playoffs

The 2021-2022 NBA regular season ended on April 10, 2022. That means 10 teams didn’t make the playoffs or even the play-in tournament. An additional 4 teams were eliminated from playoff contention after the play-in tournament. This leaves 16 teams overall and eight teams each in the western and eastern conferences. 

Teams Eliminated Before Play-In Games

As mentioned above, 10 teams were eliminated before the play-in games. There were five removed from playoff contention for each conference. For the Eastern conference, the teams eliminated were the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, and New York Knicks. For the Western Conference, the teams eliminated were the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, and Los Angeles Lakers. Most of these teams are rebuilding teams, but some are disappointing. 

Disappointing Teams

The Portland Trailblazers blew their team up as they traded star players and talented players for future draft picks, young prospects, and the salary cap. The most disappointing team in the East was the New York Knicks as their star player had a down year and the team wasn’t the defensive force like last year. Out of these 10 teams, the Los Angeles Lakers are the most disappointing team as there were discussions on a potential championship run.

Teams Eliminated in Play-In Games

There were 4 teams officially eliminated from playoff contention. Next, the San Antonio Spurs were eliminated by the New Orleans Pelicans and their season was honestly a success. This is because they were expected to be a rebuilding team that had a lot of young talent to develop. Third, the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Brooklyn Nets for the seventh seed and the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth seed. While their season ended in disappointment, their team was also expected to be rebuilt like the Spurs. They have 2 all-stars in the center, Jarrett Allen, and point guard, Darius Garland. They also have a potential rookie of the year in power forward, Evan Mobley. 

Disappointing Play-In Team

First, the Charlotte Hornets were the first Play-In team that lost the ability to make the playoffs as they lost to the Atlanta Hawks. Some changes need to happen or their young star point guard, Lamelo Ball, will leave eventually. The Los Angeles Clippers had multiple chances to make the playoffs and squandered them. They lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first game. In the next game, they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans. They were up by ten in both games in the fourth quarter but were unable to capitalize on the opportunities. They went from making it to the western conference finals last year to falling short of the playoffs this year.

Western Playoff Teams

8 teams made the playoffs in the west. Those teams are:

1st Seed – Phoenix Suns 

2nd Seed – Memphis Grizzlies 

3rd Seed – Golden State Warriors 

4th Seed – Dallas Mavericks 

5th Seed – Utah Jazz

6th Seed – Denver Nuggets

7th Seed – Minnesota Timberwolves 

8th Seed – New Orleans Pelicans 

As of right now, the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors are the favorites to make it to the finals. 

Eastern Playoff Teams

8 teams made the playoffs in the east. Those teams are:

1st Seed – Miami Heat

2nd Seed – Boston Celtics

3rd Seed – Milwaukee Bucks

4th Seed – Philadelphia 76ers

5th Seed – Toronto Raptors

6th Seed – Chicago Bulls

7th Seed – Brooklyn Nets

8th Seed – Atlanta Hawks

As of right now, the top 4 seeds can make it to the finals. But the Boston Celtics aren’t only the favorite to make it out of the east, they are the favorites to win the championship.