Last season Golden State ended a 13-year postseason drought in spectacular fashion. The Warriors broke an even longer streak by getting to the second round for the first time since 1990-91 when RUN TMC shocked David Robinson’s Spurs. I thought it would be fun to go through and see the current longest postseason droughts. Here’s a list of each franchise and the last time they made the playoffs AND actually won a round:
–Atlanta Hawks: Last in the playoffs in 1998-99, which is also the last time they won a round. They have an outside shot of making it this year.
-Boston Celtics: Last time in the playoffs in 2004-05 and last won a round in 2002-03. Expect both those droughts to end this year
-Charlotte Bobcats: Playoffless since their inception in 2004-05. Expect the drought to continue.
-Cleveland Cavaliers: Went to the Finals last year.
-Dallas Mavericks: Made the playoffs last year but lost in untimely fashion. Made the NBA Finals in 2005-06.
-Denver Nuggets: Made the playoffs last year but haven’t won a round since 1993-94. They have a 40% chance to get to the second round this year.
-Detroit Pistons: Lost in the Conference Finals last year.
-Golden State Warriors: As mentioned, 2006-07 broke a bunch of streaks.
-Houston Rockets: Made the playoffs last year but they haven’t won a round since way back in 1996-97 with Hakeem, Drexler, and Barkley. This streak should finally end.
-Indiana Pacers: The Pacers ended a long streak by missing the playoffs last year for the first time in a while. They last made the second round 2004-05. The playoff drought will continue this year.
-Los Angeles Clippers: Last made the playoffs and the second round in 2005-06. The 2005-06 run broke a playoffless streak that went back to 1996-97 and a second round streak that dated all the way back to the Buffalo Braves in 1975-76.
-Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers squeaked into the playoffs last year but they haven’t won a round since Shaq was last around in 2003-04.
-Memphis Grizzlies: They last made the playoffs in 2005-06. They haven’t won a round in their franchise history (which dates back to 1995-96).
-Miami Heat: The Heat made the playoffs last year and last won a series in 2005-06 when they won it all.
-Milwaukee Bucks: They made the playoffs last in 2005-06 and won rounds last in 2000-01 when the Cassell/Allen/Robinson team went to the conference finals.
-Minnesota Timberwolves: Haven’t won a round or made the playoffs since 2003-04. It’s been dark days ever since.
-New Jersey Nets: Made the second round last year.
-New Orleans Hornets: Last made the playoffs in 2003-04. They haven’t won a round since 2001-02, the last season in Charlotte.
-New York Knicks: Last made the playoffs in Isiah’s inaugural season of 2003-04. They haven’t won a playoff game since 2000-01 and they haven’t won a series since 1999-00, when Jeff Van Gundy had those three strands of hear on the top of his head.
-Orlando Magic: They made the playoffs last year but they haven’t won a series since 1995-96 when Shaq and Penny led the team to the conference finals.
-Philadelphia 76ers: Last made the playoffs in 2004-05 but haven’t won a series since 2002-03, Larry Brown’s last year in town.
-Phoenix Suns: Obviously, they are a contender and they just barely lost to the Spurs last year.
-Portland Trailblazers: Old reliable playoff team hasn’t been in the fold since 2002-03, when they lost a whacky first rounder to the Mavs. The last time they advanced past the first round was in 1999-00 and the infamous loss to the Shaq-Kobe Lakers where they blew an 18-point lead in Game 7.
-Sacramento Kings: They once mighty Kings made the playoffs last in 2005-06 and haven’t won a round since 2003-04.
-Seattle SuperSonics: We go back to 2004-05 when the team surprisingly won their division and knocked off the Kings in the first round.
-Toronto Raptors: They made the playoffs last year but their only playoff series win was in 2000-01 when they beat the Knicks.
-Utah Jazz: They ended a small drought last year and made the conference finals.
-Washington Wizards: The Wiz had a very long playoff drought before Gilbert Arenas came to town. They made the playoffs last year and went to the second round in 2004-05. Before 2004-05, however, they hadn’t won a series since 1981-82.
Only a few teams have really long droughts now. The Hawks have the longest full absence but the Magic, Grizz, and Rockets (surprisingly) haven’t been deep into the playoffs for even longer (in the Grizz’s case ever). I think Houston should finally win a round this year and Orlando has a small shot of finally going through to round two.