NBA Playoffs 2023: How Does it Work?

Last updated: 12/28/2023
5 minutes read

Basketball games like NBA 2K23 from Visual Concepts are now becoming so realistic that some people discover the sport for the first time in this format.

Real-world basketball is hugely popular across the USA, but there’s a chance that the NBA 2K League could be even bigger in the future.

The most important time of the year for the NBA League is when the NBA playoffs get underway. This is the tournament that decides the champion for the season. They get all the bragging rights and can name themselves the official number one franchise in the entire country.

The NBA playoffs appeal to eSports players because the fixtures come thick and fast, with a best-of-seven knockout format for the tournament. This is similar to the NBA 2K League playoffs.

What’s the NBA Playoffs Bracket?

The beauty of the NBA playoffs is that they bring together the Eastern and Western Conferences, distinguishing the very best of them all. Each team starts in its respective NBA playoffs bracket, and the best from the East and West eventually meet in the final.

How Many Teams Make the NBA Playoffs?

This is where it gets exciting - because 16 different franchises get the chance to win the ultimate crown.

Who is in the NBA Playoffs?

Check out the list below to see who is in the NBA playoffs this year:

Eastern Conference

  • Miami Heat
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Philadelphia 76ers
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • New York Knicks
  • Boston Celtics
  • Brooklyn Nets

Western Conference

  • Phoenix Suns
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Memphis Grizzlies
  • Minnesota Timberwolves

Past NBA playoffs can't always predict the future

What’s the NBA Playoffs Schedule?

The NBA playoffs schedule consists of a knockout format where teams compete in the best of seven games. The winner progresses to the next round. Here’s a rundown of the schedule:

The First Round – The top-ranked team from each conference faces the lowest-ranked team from their division. Second place faces off against seventh, and so on.

Conference Semifinals – The winners of games one and two, as well as three and four in each conference play each other.

Conference Finals – The remaining two teams in each conference compete for a place in the final.

NBA Finals – The best teams from each conference are matched up in the final to crown the season’s champion.

When do NBA Playoffs Start?

The NBA playoffs start towards the middle of April and run all the way until June, with the final game of 2023 scheduled for June 18th.

In preparation for this spectacle, the NBA 2K League season ends at the start of June, meaning that there will be a lot of attention from gamers and basketball fans alike for the NBA playoffs final games.

The NBA Playoffs never cease to surprise!

Who’s Tipped to be Crowned Champion This Season?

Going into the NBA playoffs 2023, all the top ranked teams in the two conferences were in with a chance of making it all the way. These included the likes of the Celtics, the Nuggets, the Grizzlies, the 76ers, the Suns, and the Bucks.

Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors battled their way to the NBA finals. The former have won 17 championships, with their most recent coming way back in 2008.

Whilst the latter have won it more recently in 2018, they have only been crowned NBA Champions on five other occasions prior to that.

Why do the NBA Playoffs Appeal to eSports Fans?

Thanks to the high-quality, enhanced graphics that the Eco-Motion engine has brought to the NBA 2K games, there’s little to separate gaming from reality.

The fast-paced nature of basketball makes it the perfect option for a console title, and fans of the game tend to enjoy playing and watching virtual and live versions.

It can also be considered a title within the genre of strategic games, as players need to set up and manage their teams well in order to be in with a chance of success.

LeBron James was named MVP in 2020

MVPs get Improved Stats in NBA 2K Games

A lot of what happens in the real world translates to the NBA 2K games later. For example, MVPs from the NBA playoffs are often rewarded with better stats when the next update is released.

Consider, for instance, Giannis Antetokounmpo who was the recipient of the 2021 Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP award. Antetokounmpo then earned a whopping rating of 97 in NBA 2K23, making him the top-rated star in the game. Back in the 2017/18 season, he was rated at 91.

Some of the other past MVPs include LeBron James in 2020, who has a rating of 96, Kawhi Leonard in 2019, who now has a rating of 95, and Kevin Durant in 2018, who is rated at 96 in the game.

Videogame Players Can Play Out Scenarios to Predict a Winner

Everyone loves to predict who they think is going to win the NBA playoffs, and one of the best ways to do this is to play out the various scenarios on NBA 2K23.

At the end of the regular season, it’s easy to set up a tournament using the NBA playoffs schedule with all the NBA playoffs teams and play with friends until a winner is determined.

If you set up PVP matches and play against people at a similar skill level, it’s likely that the sides with the best stats will make it to the final and you can generate a reasonably accurate prediction. Do you think you can work out which team is going to be crowned victor?

You could simulate it multiple times to see who has the best chance.

Enjoy & make new memories with the NBA playoffs

Enjoy the NBA Playoffs 2022

There’s no doubt that the NBA playoffs is the most exciting time of the year for basketball fans. It’s also a great period for eSports players, as the NBA 2K League season wraps around the same time.

That means you can get your virtual and live basketball fixes in tandem!