NBA Playoffs 2023: schedule and how does it work

Get ready for the NBA Playoffs & Finals 2023! Learn about the start date, the full schedule and how does it works

nba playoffs finals

The Playoffs and, in particular, the Finals, are the most exciting part of the entire NBA season. Millions of people are glued to the TV in order to root for their favourite team, in hopes of reaching the most sought goal: the Larry O’Brien Trophy!

Here it is a little guide on how the second part of the NBA season, the most exciting and awaited one, works: the post-season.

NBA Playoff 2023 Start Date

For the season 2022/23, the NBA Playoffs will start on April 15, the day after the Play-In Tournament ends. Thereafter, the playoffs will last about 6 weeks and then make way for the Finals.

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NBA Finals 2023 Start Date

The NBA Finals will begin on June 1st with Game 1 between the winners of the two conferences. Game 2 is scheduled for June 4th, Game 3 for June 7th, and Game 4 for June 9th. The other three potential games (the series is won by the best of 7 games) are scheduled for June 12th, 15th, and 18th.

NBA Playoff Schedule 2023

April 9NBA Regular Season ends
April 11Play-In Game 1East 7 vs. East 8
April 11Play-In Game 2West 7 vs. West 8
April 12Play-In Game 3East 9 vs. East 10
April 12Play-In Game 4West 9 vs. West 10
April 14Play-In Game 5East Loser 7/8 vs. East Winner 9/10
April 14Play-In Game 6West Loser 7/8 vs. West Winner 9/10
April 15NBA Playoffs 2023 begin
May 1-2NBA Conference Semifinals beginpossible move-up to April 29-30
May 16-17NBA Conference Finals beginpossible move-up to May 14-15
June 1NBA Finals 2023 Game 1
June 4NBA Finals 2023 Game 2
June 7NBA Finals 2023 Game 3
June 9NBA Finals 2023 Game 4
June 12NBA Finals 2023 Game 5if necessary
June 15NBA Finals 2023 Game 6if necessary
June 18NBA Finals 2023 Game 7if necessary
June 18NBA Finals 2023 Game 7if necessary
NBA Playoff Schedule 2023

How do the NBA Playoffs work?

The Playoffs represent the second part of the NBA season after the Regular Season. The best Eastern and Western Conferences’ teams confront each other in a tournament consisting of three rounds: quarterfinals, semifinals and Conference Final.

The winning teams of the respective Conference Finals will confront each other in the NBA Finals, deciding the winning franchise of the NBA Title.

Which Team goes to the NBA Playoffs?

There are 16 teams in the Playoffs: the top eight teams in the Western Conference and the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. The 16 qualifiers are paired based on their final position in Regular Season’s ranking:

  • first vs eighth;
  • second vs seventh;
  • third vs sixth;
  • fourth vs fifth.

Starting from 2019-2020 season, the last team in each Conference to enter the post-season is decided by a mini-tournament, the Play-In.

The Playoffs use a best-of-seven elimination format (the teams winning 4 matches pass the turn). The home field advantage is in favor of the team that achieved the best record during the Regular Season.

The format is 2-2-1-1-1, that is the team with the best record plays at home the first two matches of the series, then it is up to the other team to host. Finally, there will be alternating home games until Game-7, if necessary.

How do the NBA Finals work?

The NBA Finals are the last stage of the season. The winning teams of the Western and of the Eastern Conferences partecipate in it.

The Finals’ format is the same as in the Playoffs: best-of-seven one, the first team to win four matches wins the NBA Title.

The home field advantage is assigned to the franchise with the best W-L record in the Regular Season, who will play at home Game-1, Game-2, Game-5 and Game-7, if necessary. The other team will play at home Game-3, Game-4 and Game-6, if necessary.

The winning team will receive the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy.

Larry O Brien Championship

Where to watch the NBA Playoffs and Finals

It is possible to watch the NBA Playoffs and Finals through streaming with a subscription to NBA League Pass, the official league service. Alternatively, the second part of the NBA season is also available on ESPN and TNT.

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