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Waiting game

Kings, Bucks fail to end second-round playoff droughts

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Posted: Monday May 08, 2000 05:45 AM

  Reggie Theus Since the Kings moved from Kansas City to Sacramento in 1985, they've never been to the second round of the playoffs. Rick Stewart/Allsport

By Ryan Hunt,

The Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks had more in common than just the typical shock-the-world plight of a No. 8 seed in the NBA playoffs.

While it is true both teams would have joined the short list of eight-seeds to pull the first-round upset of a top seed -- it's happened only twice -- both teams were looking to end long streaks of playoff frustration.

The Bucks, who were eliminated by Indiana in the first round, haven't won a playoff series since beating Atlanta in 1989. The Kings? The last time that franchise won a playoff series, it was located in Kansas City.

After getting thumped by the Lakers in Game 5, The Kings have not advanced to the second round since 1980-81. In fact, this year's series with the Lakers was only their fifth playoff appearance since advancing to the Western Conference finals 19 years ago.

One and Done
Teams with longest playoff
series-win droughts
Team  Yrs  App. 
L.A. Clippers/Buff. Braves  24 
Sacramento Kings  19 
Washington Wizards  18 
New Jersey Nets  16 
Dallas Mavericks  12 
Milwaukee Bucks  11 
Minnesota Timberwolves  10 
Golden State Warriors 
Detroit Pistons 
Boston Celtics 
Cleveland Cavaliers 

Then again, both pale in comparison to the plight of, not surprisingly, the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers have not won a playoff series since beating the Philadelphia 76ers in 1975-76, when they were still known as the Boston Braves. The 24-year drought is the longest active streak in the NBA.

This says it all about the Clippers' postseason history: Only one page of their 244-page media guide is devoted to all-time postseason results. After all, this is a franchise that has only made the playoffs three times since 1975.

But it's not just the Clippers who are void of postseason success.

Here is the best indicator of the NBA's top-to-bottom disparity: Nearly one-fourth of the league (seven of 29 teams) hasn't won a playoff series in a decade.

One of them is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are 0-for-4 in first-round series in their brief 10-year NBA history.

For the others, it's hard to win a playoff series when you're not in the playoffs.

  • Washington, on an 18-year drought since beating New Jersey in the first round of the 1982 playoffs, has advanced to the postseason only once since 1988.

  • The New Jersey Nets, whose only series win came in 1984, have won only nine playoff games in franchise history. But at least the Nets have been to the postseason six times since their 1984 first-round win over the Sixers.

  • Dallas hasn't been to the playoffs in 10 years, the longest active drought in the NBA. The Mavs' 1990 first-round loss to Portland remains their only playoff berth since advancing to the 1988 Western Conference finals.

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