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What's next for the Cleveland Cavaliers after losing to Brooklyn Nets? Breaking down their status in the play-in tournament

A win Tuesday for the Cavs would be great, but a loss wouldn’t mean the end of the road for the wine and gold.
Credit: AP
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love on Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers lost Tuesday night's game to the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA play-in tournament.

But they're not done just yet...

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know as the Cavs continue their push for a spot in the 2022 NBA playoffs.

If the Cavs would have won Tuesday night

Had they won Tuesday night, the Cavs would have advanced to the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. That means when the playoffs begin on Saturday, they would be on their way to Boston for a first-round matchup with the Celtics.

RELATED: 'Let's get it on': Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets to open play-in Tuesday

What's next after losing Tuesday night

The season isn’t over just yet. This is the biggest luxury of clinching the eighth seed in the tournament. The Cavs essentially get two chances to win one game.

A loss Tuesday night means the team plays again this Friday with an opponent that will be determined on Wednesday night. The Cavaliers will take on the winner of the game between the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets. The Hawks are the higher of the two seeds, so they have home court advantage in their first play-in game.

Friday night’s game, which is also the same day of the Cleveland Guardians home opener at Progressive Field, is a true win-or-go home scenario for both teams. A win would mean a trip to Miami to take on the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, and a loss would mean the season is over.

RELATED: Cleveland Cavaliers blast Milwaukee Bucks 133-115 in regular-season finale, will face Brooklyn Nets in play-in tournament

What if the Cavs lose both play-in games?

While the season would be over, they would keep their first-round draft pick this year. The Cavs sent out a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to Indiana earlier this year in exchange for swingman Caris LeVert. If they Cavs end up missing the playoffs entirely, they would keep their pick. If they win one of the next two games, the pick goes to the Pacers.

Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous Cavs story on March 7, 2022.

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