Playoff Picture: Hawks clinch with Pistons or Wizards loss (updated)

The Hawks earned a little bit of breathing room with a win at the Bulls Monday night - but not much. The Hawks are still third in the Eastern Conference by one game - up from the half-game advantage they held over the Celtics. The Celtics dropped to fifth with a loss at the Clippers Monday. The Heat moved up a spot for the final home-court position. Still, just two games separate spots 3-6 in the conference.

The Hawks have a magic number of one to clinch a playoff berth. They can make a ninth straight postseason as soon as Tuesday night with EITHER a Pistons loss to the visiting Thunder OR a Wizards loss at the Warriors, according to the NBA.

The battle for the eighth and final playoff spot continues between the Pistons, Wizards and Bulls.

In addition to the Pistons and Wizards, key Eastern Conference games Tuesday are Bulls at Pacers, Hornets at 76ers and Rockets at Cavaliers. The Hawks play at the Raptors on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at the playoff picture in the East.

RkTeamW-LPct.Div.Conf.HomeAwayGB>=.500 (H/A)<=.500 (H/A)
1Cleveland-x52-21.7127-530-1430-622-15-5 (3/2)4 (2/2)
2Toronto-x49-24.67111-233-1228-921-1536 (3/3)3 (1/2)
3Atlanta45-30.6008-727-1924-1321-1785 (3/2)2 (1/1)
4Miami43-30.5899-527-1925-1318-1794 (1/3)5 (2/3)
5Boston43-31.58110-629-1925-1218-199.55 (2/3)3 (2/1)
6Charlotte42-31.5757-727-1627-1115-20103 (0/3)6 (3/3)
7Indiana39-34.5346-724-1923-1316-21132 (1/1)7 (4/3)
8Detroit39-35.5278-625-2124-1315-22164 (2/2)4 (2/2)
9Washington36-37.4938-626-2119-1917-18165 (2/3)4 (1/3)
10Chicago36-37.4937-521-2524-1412-23165 (2/3)4 (1/3)
11Orlando*30-43.4113-1017-2719-1711-26226 (3/3)3 (2/1)
12Milwaukee*30-44.4054-919-2621-159-2922.53 (2/1)5 (3/2)
13New York*30-45.4006-719-2717-2013-25234 (3/1)3 (1/2)
14Brooklyn*21-52.2886-812-3214-247-28314 (1/3)5 (2/3)
15Philadelphia*9-65.1222-123-426-303-3543.54 (2/2)4 (3/1)

x - Clinched playoff berth

* - Eliminated from playoffs