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.