Sports fans everywhere are anticipating when the 2017 NBA Playoffs start so they can catch all of the exciting games. A total of sixteen teams will be split up into eight matchups to start off the first round. After each series finished out, ultimately it will come down to one team from the Eastern Conference and one from the Western Conference competing for the NBA Championship. Here's a look at which teams are expected to be in, or close to being in, as well as when the NBA Playoffs start in 2017 along with how to view the games.

Regular season wraps up

NBA teams are currently finishing out their regular season schedules.

Games will continue on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as squads play their final games on that Wednesday, April 12th. It could come down to the last day for several teams in the East battling it out for the last two remaining spots.

As of right now, Indiana (40-40) and Chicago (39-41) have the No. 7 and No. 8 spots. However, the Miami Heat (39-41) are still fighting to get one of those spots and could do so depending on how things finish out. The Celtics, Raptors, Wizards, Hawks are the other teams above them in the playoff standings. Boston still has a shot to overtake Cleveland for the No. 1 seed with a few games to go.

Over in the Western Conference, the eight teams are already set, and most of the first-round matchups are also set.

Golden State has already clinched the No. 1 spot in the West, followed by the San Antonio Spurs. James Harden and the Rockets have earned the No. 3 spot, while the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers battle for the fourth and fifth spots.

The final three spots in the West belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, and Portland Trail Blazers.

Sunday saw the only other team with a shot at taking away Portland's spot, the Denver Nuggets, lose to Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, which eliminated them from the chase.

Damian Lillard and Portland will have their hands full in a first-round matchup against the defending Western Conference champs, for sure.

A physical Grizzlies team will test the Spurs. Two NBA MVP candidates all season long will go head-to-head when Houston and Oklahoma City meet up. It could quite a duel featuring James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The Clippers and Jazz will also be in a first-round series, but they're still deciding who has the home court advantage for this matchup.

2017 playoffs start date

Saturday, April 15th will mark the first day of the NBA Playoffs. On this date, many of the first-round matchups get going for the East and West. More matchups will start on that Sunday, with the series continuing through that week.

Each round of the playoffs will follow a best-of-seven format. A team must win four games in order to advance to the next round.

So there will be the first round, second round, and then the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. The NBA Finals will be the ultimate series, and those are set to tip off on June 1st, not too far ahead of the NBA Draft.

So that begs the question: Who will meet in this year's NBA Finals matchup? Will fans see a third-straight year featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors or a different matchup?

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