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The Charlotte Hornets fan's guide to the Eastern Conference standings and NBA playoffs

The NBA season is finally over and we know who the Hornets are playing. Here's how the Eastern Conference shaped up.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Because of a busy Wednesday night that saw the Charlotte Hornets beat the Orlando Magic, the Washington Wizards stomp the Atlanta Hawks, and the Boston Celtics cruise past the Miami Heat, the Hornets have drawn the sixth seed in the NBA playoffs and will face off against the third-seeded Heat.

Rounding out the Eastern Conference, the Celtics will play the Hawks, the Toronto Raptors will play the Indiana Pacers, and the Cleveland Cavaliers will play the Detroit Pistons.

It's quite a mouthful to explain how we got to this point, and if you're interested in learning more about it I recommend checking out Gregory Koebel's excellent piece on the matter. The quick and crude explanation is that four teams — the Hornets, Heat, Hawks, and Celtics — finished the season with the same record, and a handful of tie breakers were needed to determine the seeding.

The first, second, seventh, and eighth seeds were decided a few days ago.

Here's the Eastern Conference playoff bracket:

Eastern Conference playoff bracket

Basically, should the Hornets beat the Heat, they'll match up against one of the Raptors or Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. That's better than drawing the Cavaliers if the Hornets got the fifth seed if you ask me.

The NBA Playoffs schedule was released late last night, and you can see it here. The Hornets' first game is on Sunday, Apr. 17, at 5:30 p.m. on TNT.