NBA Play-In Tournament Bracket: How the playoff picture looks heading into stretch run

Updating the NBA Play-In Tournament bracket and projects as the stretch run begins across the league.
Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks
Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The East Play-In Tournament picture

There is still much to be settled in the way of the NBA Play-In Tournament in the Eastern Conference. At the moment, there is not much that separates the 5th seed and the 8th seed, and the 9th and 10th seeds are also yet to be determined. Here's how the standings look in the East at the moment.

4. New York Knicks (35-24)
5. Miami Heat (33-25)
6. Philadelphia 76ers (33-25)
7. Orlando Magic (33-26)
8. Indiana Pacers (33-26)
9. Chicago Bulls (27-31)
10. Atlanta Hawks
11. Brooklyn Nets (22-36)
12. Toronto Raptors (22-36)

The top three seeds have successfully separated themselves from the rest of the pack in the East. However, with the New York Knicks struggling with injuries, there's a chance they can continue to fall down the standings if they're unable to stabilize their play down the stretch. The Miami Heat, winners of nine of their last 11 games, have been playing better basketball of late but even they're not out of the Play-In Tournament range yet either.

As you would expect, the Philadelphia 76ers continue to struggle with Joel Embiid out of the lineup. However, there is some hope that he could possibly return sooner rather than later. The Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers are fighting for a top-6 seed but currently find themselves in the Play-In Tournament picture. Short of a complete collapse down the stretch, there's an expectation that the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, with a four and five-game cushion, are locked into the 9th and 10th seeds.

That said, the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors are still mathematically alive but one extended losing streak and their playoff chances could be gone quickly.