Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’s a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
Last season Oklahoma City faced off against Dallas in one conference finals and the Miami Heat played the Chicago Bulls in the other conference championship series. In the 2010 NBA playoffs, four different teams played in the conference championship series… Boston, the Lakers, Orlando and Phoenix.
Following are the longest droughts for NBA teams playing in a conference final series.
Last time in conference finals… team
Never (franchise began 1970-71)… L.A. Clippers
1976… Golden State
Never (franchise began in 1988-89)… New Orleans Hornets
Never (franchise began in 1995-96)… Memphis and Toronto
2000… New York Knicks and Portland
2001… Milwaukee and Philadelphia
2003… New Jersey Nets
2004… Indiana and Minnesota
Never (franchise began in 2004-05)… Charlotte
2008… Detroit and San Antonio
2009… Cleveland and Denver
2010… Boston, L.A. Lakers, Orlando and Phoenix
2011… Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Oklahoma City
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus posting “SIX STATS…” published every Friday.
A few weeks ago (specifically July 20) I posted an item that looked at the professional sports franchises that have the longest streaks of winning seasons. Today we look at the other end of the spectrum: those franchises that have the longest drought when it comes to playoff appearances.
Every city that has a professional sports franchise in the four major sports leagues each year looks for their team to perform well and hopefully bring home a championship. For many teams, failure to make a postseason appearance is a major disappointment.
Each season 52 teams (eight in major league baseball, 12 in the NFL, 16 in the NBA and 16 in the NHL) make the playoffs. There are several teams, however, that have not seen the playoffs in this century, and a couple of teams that have not made the postseason in over 20 years.
Following are the five teams in each of the four major professional sports leagues that have the most numbers of years since their last postseason appearance.
Major League Baseball Last postseason appearance
Washington Nationals (Montreal) 1981
Kansas City Royals 1985
Pittsburgh Pirates 1992
Toronto Blue Jays 1993
Baltimore Orioles 1997
(WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: What current American League manager was the skipper of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992, their last trip to the postseason? Answer at end of this posting.)
National Football League Last Postseason appearance
Buffalo Bills 1999
Detroit Lions 1999
Cleveland Browns 2002
San Francisco 49ers 2002
Houston Texans *****
(***** Have never been in the playoffs; came in to the league in 2002)
National Basketball Association Last postseason appearance
Minnestoa Timberwolves 2004
Los Angeles Clippers 2006
Sacramento Kings 2006
New Jersey Nets 2007
National Hockey League Last postseason appearance
Florida Panthers 2000
Toronto Maple Leafs 2004
Edmonton Oilers 2006
New York Islanders 2007
Winnipeg Jets 2007
* Did you know? Seventy of the 122 professional sports teams in the four major sports have made it to the playoffs in one or both of the last two seasons.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Current Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was the manager of the 1992 Pirates.