Charlotte Hornets fans rooting guide for the playoffs

MIAMI, FL - MAY 1: Dwyane Wade
MIAMI, FL - MAY 1: Dwyane Wade /

We’ll be taking a look at and analyzing each of the sixteen teams in the playoffs to tell Charlotte Hornets fans who they should be rooting for.

As disappointing as it is for the Charlotte Hornets to not be in the playoffs, that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to watch postseason play. Everyone has their own reasons for what teams they want to win certain series and so on, but if you’re on the fence about who to cheer for, don’t worry.

I’ve decided to use an advanced statistical algorithm to determine which team Hornets fans should cheer for. This method is 100% correct and has no bias attached to any of the reasonings. Also please keep in mind that each of these reasons for each team is for the interest of Hornets fans specifically.

The best way to go about this is probably to address each team in order of how much you shouldn’t cheer for them. Without further ado…

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Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors

Nope, sorry, I don’t want want to see this for the fourth consecutive season. It’s time for something new. The Cavs and Dubs had a great three-year run, they split the first two meetings then had a rubber match. The rivalry will make for a great 30 for 30 one day, but it’s time to move on.

Apologies to Dell Curry’s son, but I will not be cheering for your team.

Miami Heat

I would probably want to see a Finals rematch before seeing the Heat win a series. Between the playoff series a couple years ago and the multiple blown leads to them this season, I would just prefer they get swept.

The Heat is also a quote on quote “divisional rival” so we should all be rooting against them. Oh yeah, let’s not forget that Dragic originally (and miraculously) got into the All-Star game before Kemba.

Washington Wizards

Yes another divisional opponent, but the Wizards also may be the reason the Hornets weren’t NBA Champions in 2016. We all know the Hornets were in a four-way tie for the 3-seed that season but were last in the tiebreaker.

The 80th game of that Hornets season was on a Sunday afternoon against a Wizards team that wouldn’t make the playoffs, but the Hornets got killed. Had they won this game they would’ve gotten the 3-seed outright. Meaning they would’ve faced the 6th seeded Celtics.

They would’ve beat the Celtics, and moved on to beat the Raptors. Next would be the Cavs, a team that they beat without Kemba Walker in the regular season. The means the Hornets would’ve easily swept the Cavs with Kemba. If a team the Hornets would’ve swept could beat Golden State why couldn’t the Hornets? Exactly, the Charlotte Hornets were almost 2016 NBA Champions.

Perhaps this is all hypotheticals and over exaggerations, perhaps, but either way don’t cheer for the Wizards.

New Orleans Pelicans

Hahahahahaha, nope Hornets fans will not be cheering for a team from New Orleans. I have absolutely nothing against their players, Rajon Rondo has always been one of my favorites and Anthony Davis is fun to watch, but I will not be cheering for the City of New Orleans. They’ve taken our team, they’ve taken our All-Star Game, they’ve taken our first overall pick, they aren’t taking my fandom next.

Boston Celtics

There’s no real reason to not root for the Celtics but just don’t. Think about it like this, would any Celtics fans cheer for the Hornets? I’m not sure if I can say they would. Also, I’m jealous that they went from contenders right years ago, to mediocre, back to contenders without ever having to rebuild. They have a great coach and great front office.

San Antonio Spurs

There’s nothing wrong with the Spurs, but we shall refuse to root for them until they give us Kawhi for Michael Carter-Williams straight up.

Philadelphia 76ers

The Process has become a nationwide movement and I don’t blame anyone that cheers for them. They’re a young, exciting team that is way ahead of schedule on its rebuild. The only reason I say don’t root for them is because Joel Embiid said Ben Simmons should’ve made the All-Star team over Kemba. Ben Simmons was very deserving, but it should’ve been over Goran Dragic, not Kemba.

Utah Jazz

Surprisingly, this has nothing to do with the Donovan Mitchell and Malik Monk debate. Anybody remember in the 2014 offseason when Gordon Hayward wanted to come to Charlotte but was a restricted free agent? Well, I do. How dare the Jazz want to match the Hornets contract offer on their future All-Star. In response to not being able to sign Hayward, we were forced to live through the Lance Stephenson experiment. So thanks for that, Utah.

Indiana Pacers

I suppose this brings me to my next point. As a basketball fan, I love Lance Stephenson’s antics. A personality like that is great to have in the league and provides some humor. As a Hornets fan though, I’m hoping his team doesn’t have a ton of success. When he came to Charlotte expectations were high. I don’t mean just “make the playoffs”, people legitimately considered the Hornets a top-three team in the East going into that season.

If a lot (mainly all) of these reasons seem overly petty, it’s because they are. I’m having to give you guys reasons to not cheer for 15 out of the 16 teams in the playoffs, of course, it will be petty.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Their winner-take-all game against Denver the other night was one of the best games of the season. For a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in 14 seasons, there was no better way to get in. However, that’s also the exact reason to not root for them. I really don’t want to see a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in 14 years have more success in the playoffs than the Hornets have had the past 14 years.

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Milwaukee Bucks

We’re down to the final five teams so it’s about to get tough. For the Bucks, my expert opinion says don’t cheer for them because they beat the Hornets in Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals. It cost the franchise of their first, and only, conference finals bid. There is no statute of limitations on grudges.

Houston Rockets

The Rockets have been the best team in the NBA all season long. They’re clearly one of the title favorites but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them. Why? Well, I don’t want the Chris Paul vs. Charlotte Hornets “who makes a conference finals first” rivalry to end.

Portland Trailblazers

Nicolas Batum’s first season with the Hornets was fantastic and in the two since he’s still been a solid player, it’s just the contract that made him look bad. The Hornets still made the right trade three offseasons ago in acquiring him, don’t get me wrong. Still though, at this point, all I can say about the Blazers is that they’re one of the reasons the Hornets don’t have much cap room to work with.

Toronto Raptors

We all know that the Raptors have had their fair share of struggles in the playoffs. Who knows, this could very well be the year that they can finally turn things around and contend. They’re a well-rounded team that’s full of likable guys, but they are not my number one team to cheer for. They are the number one seed after all, and who doesn’t want to see an underdog win. That’s why…

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder, yes the Thunder, are my number one team for Hornets fans to cheer for. They’re not considered true contenders by most, so that checks off the underdog box. They have exciting players to watch like Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams, so that checks off that box. Most importantly though, Hornets fans have no reason to not want them to win. Even in my own method of coming up with petty reasons to not cheer for a team, I cannot think of one for the Thunder.  

Next: Hornets season review: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

So there you have it. If you’re a Charlotte Hornets fan, you’re now an OKC fan for the playoffs. We’ll be rooting for a Raptors/Thunder finals matchup, and for the Thunder to win in an exciting Game 7. I hope you all enjoy the playoffs!