Eastern Conference Playoff Picture: Hawks clinch, Pistons in seventh

The Hawks became the third team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday as their magic number was reduced to zero with the Wizards loss at the Warriors. Seeding is still very much in the air in the conference after the top two spots. It remains crowded in the middle and at the bottom for those still in contention.

The Hawks remain third with a one-game lead over the Heat, who have played two fewer games. The Celtics and Hornets are 1-1/2 games behind the Hawks. The four teams are battling for spots 3-6 overall and the two home-court advantage positions. The Heat’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is two.

The Pistons moved up a spot to seventh Tuesday with a home win over the Thunder and a Pacers home loss to the Bulls. The Bulls and Wizards are still alive but on the outside looking in.

There are several key games in the East Wednesday with the Hawks at Raptors, Wizards at Kings and Heat at Lakers.

Here is how the playoff picture stands:

RkTeamW-LPct.Div.Conf.HomeAwayGB>=.500 (H/A)<=.500 (H/A)
1Cleveland-x52-22.7037-530-1430-722-15-6 (3/3)2 (1/1)
2Toronto-x49-24.67111-233-1228-921-152.56 (3/3)3 (1/2)
3Atlanta-x45-30.6008-727-1924-1321-177.55 (3/2)2 (1/1)
4Miami43-30.5899-527-1925-1318-178.55 (2/3)4 (1/3)
5Boston43-31.58110-629-1925-1218-1995 (2/3)3 (2/1)
6Charlotte43-31.5817-728-1627-1116-2093 (0/3)5 (3/2)
7Detroit40-35.5338-625-2125-1315-2212.54 (1/3)3 (2/1)
8Indiana39-35.5276-824-2023-1416-21132 (1/1)6 (3/3)
9Chicago37-37.5008-522-2524-1413-23154 (2/2)4 (1/3)
10Washington36-38.4868-626-2119-1917-19164 (2/2)4 (1/3)

x- Clinched playoff berth

Eliminated from playoffs: Orlando, Milwaukee, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia

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