Miami Heat v Charlotte Bobcats - Game Four

Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets still seeking first playoff win

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In 2010, the Charlotte Bobcats were excited just to make the playoffs.

The Bobcats started as an expansion team in 2004-05, and it took six years just to reach the postseason. There, they were swept by the Orlando Magic.

“They know how to play playoff basketball,” then-Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. “We haven’t figured it out yet.”

The Bobcats still haven’t figured it out.

Tonight could have been Game 5 of the Bobcats-Heat series. Instead, Charlotte was swept by the Heat, dropping its playoff record to 0-8.

The Bobcats will change their name and try again next season as the Hornets for that playoff victory. But even if it comes that soon, it would be 11 years since the franchise’s inception.

Of course, the NBA’s size and playoff structure has changed, and it’s arguably harder now than ever to win a postseason game.

How does Charlotte’s 10-plus-year wait compare historically?

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Franchise First season First playoff win Years until first playoff win
ATL 1950 1950 1
DEN 1977 1977 1
GSW 1947 1947 1
LAL 1949 1949 1
NYK 1947 1947 1
PHI 1950 1950 1
SAC 1949 1949 1
BOS 1947 1948 2
CHI 1967 1968 2
DET 1949 1950 2
HOU 1968 1969 2
MIL 1969 1970 2
PHO 1969 1970 2
SAS 1977 1978 2
DAL 1981 1984 4
LAC 1971 1974 4
WAS 1962 1965 4
NOP 1989 1993 5
CLE 1971 1976 6
MIA 1989 1994 6
ORL 1990 1995 6
TOR 1996 2001 6
POR 1971 1977 7
BRK 1977 1984 8
OKC 1968 1975 8
MIN 1990 1998 9
CHA 2005 2014 10+
UTA 1975 1984 10
IND 1977 1987 11
MEM 1996 2011 16

If the Hornets win a playoff game next year, they’d tie the Pacers for the second-longest wait for a franchise’s first playoff win (11 seasons). If it takes any longer, there’d be only one more franchise that took longer.

At least the Grizzlies, who needed 16 years, give Charlotte a little buffer.

Watch LaMarcus Aldridge drop 38 on Thunder

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Oklahoma City has more than a few adjustments to make after a brutal defensive effort in Game 1 of their series against San Antonio, but at the top of the list is sticking with LaMarcus Aldridge on defense.

He was killing them from the midrange, and more than half of his looks were uncontested — the Thunder know he can knock down that shot, right?

It was a fantastic performance from Aldridge; we’ll see if he faces tougher defense in Game 2.

NBA: Trail Blazers scored after uncalled illegal screen by Trail Blazers in final minutes

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Should we be preparing for Game 7 of the Trail Blazers-Clippers series today?

If the officials had called the final minutes of the last game correctly, maybe.

Portland won Game 6 to take the series 4-2, but a missed call a key missed call helped clinch.

With 1:45 left, Mason Plumlee got away with offensively fouling Jamal Crawford, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Plumlee (POR) sets the screen on Crawford (LAC) without giving him room to avoid the contact.

A correct call would’ve meant a Trail Blazers turnover. Instead, Damian Lillard ended the possession with two made free throws.

Portland’s advantage when the Clippers began intentionally fouling: two.

Would the Clippers have won if the refs called Plumlee’s offensive foul? Impossible to say. The final 1:45 could’ve played out much differently.

But this missed call, the only error in the Last Two Minute Report, certainly boosted the Trail Blazers’ odds.

Four Things to Watch in two Game 7s Sunday

during game six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Time Warner Cable Arena on April 29, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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It’s what the playoffs are all about — win or go home Game 7s. Pressure, drama, unlikely stars Sunday is going to have it all. Here are a few things to watch:

1) Can Miami’s jump shooters have another hot game? Dwyane Wade got the headlines (and he earned them) for his Game 6 performance (everyone except purple shirt guy was impressed), but the real key for the Heat to force a Game 7 was they were hitting their jumpers — or at least enough of them. In their three losses, Miami shot 33.7 percent from 3 feet out to the arc, but in Game 6 the Heat shot 43.5 percent in that range, plus knocked down eight threes. The Hornets have packed the paint all series, when the Heat hit their jumpers they win. It’s that simple.

2) Does Kemba Walker have one more big game in him? Walker was fantastic in Game 6 (37 points), and he’s been very good in the Hornets’ victories. He’s going to penetrate and get some shots inside eight feet, but will he be able to finish? And, more importantly, will he hit his threes when they pack the paint on him? If Walker has a huge game, Charlotte very likely moves on.

3) Is Toronto too far into their own head? No team has more pressure on them to advance out of the first round than Toronto after two previous years of getting bounced in the first round, and they will feel that weight at home in Game 7 against Indiana. Will Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan step up with big games in the biggest moments of their careers, or will they succumb to the moment and the Pacers defense? For all the Xs and Os that do matter in this game, how the Raptors handle the pressure will be key.

4) Can the Pacers again get a few quality minutes when Paul George sits? In the Pacers comfortable Game 6 win, George got a rest in the second quarter and the Pacers were +5 while he sat. That was a huge step up from Game 5, where the Pacers were -18 when he was out for less than 7 minutes. If Indiana — by playing some starters such as Myles Turner — doesn’t have a huge bench drop off when George rests a few minutes their odds of winning go way up. We know Paul George can handle the moment.

Spurs demolish Thunder to take Game 1 of second-round series

SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 30: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs scores over Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during game one of the Western Conference Semifinals for the 2016 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 30, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
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The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.

Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?

Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.

It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.