The Charlotte Hornets may not have the most prestigious playoff history, even compared to some of their expansion brethren, but there have been some talented teams that have played fairly well in the postseason.
It’s unfortunate that the Charlotte Hornets haven’t had much playoff success in their thirty-year existence. Even worse is the fact that the teams that all came into the league around the same time all have gotten farther into the postseason than Charlotte ever has.
The Hornets are hardly the only team in this boat, of course, as plenty of teams have failed to make a Finals appearance, let alone win a title. Perhaps their luck can change in the next few years, but as of now, their postseason resume is somewhat limited at the moment.
Be that as it may, we’re going to be ranking their top-three playoff teams. There are more teams we could cover, of course, but a lot of them overlap or are essentially the same teams, though not as successful.
It’s been some time since the Charlotte Hornets last made the playoffs, but they nearly defeated their rivals in the first round in their last postseason matchup.
More from Swarm and Sting
- Hornets: 3 trades that haunt the franchise to this day
- Charlotte Hornets: Two role players to monitor this offseason
- Charlotte Hornets: How Atlanta Hawks interest in Jerami Grant will shake up Southeast Division
- With Conclusion of the 2019-20 Season, What’s Next for the Charlotte Hornets?
- Charlotte Hornets: Trick or Treat with the #3 pick options in the NBA Draft
Before we begin, I will throw in one honorable mention, that being the 2015-2016 Charlotte Hornets who very nearly made it past the first round for the first time since 2002. It was also the last time the team made the playoffs, starting a streak of missing the postseason that is tied for the second-longest in team history.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets to a 48-34 record, which, oddly enough, was the exact same record as the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, due to various tiebreakers and conference records, Charlotte was the lowest seed of those four teams. That win total of 48 was the single-biggest improvement from one season to the next in team history, as they had won just 33 games the season before.
The Hornets would play .500 ball or better in five of the seven months of that season, including going 13-3 in the month of March. Charlotte’s home record of 30-11 was the third-best in the Eastern Conference.
Kemba was the leading scorer, dropping just under 21 points a game. Al Jefferson, who was clearly regressing as age and injuries would begin to take their toll, was tied for the team lead in rebounds, with 6.4 a game. Nic Batum dished out 5.8 assists to lead the team.
They would meet their bitter rivals, the Miami Heat, as the 6th seed and would lose the first two games, only to win the next three. Up 3-2, things looked to be going well for the Hornets, even as they would lose the next game by a mere seven points. They were sadly trounced, however, in South Beach by a score of 106-73. Needless to say, it’s been a little rough ever since.
Kemba Walker was the team leader in points and assists, dropping in 23 points and doling out 4 dimes a game. The main reason behind Charlotte’s collapse was their defense, allowing the Heat to shoot 47% from the floor, while making just 30% of their shots from deep, as opposed to Miami’s 40%.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the more notable playoff teams in Charlotte Hornets history.