Playoffs 2021

NBA Playoffs: Which teams have never reached the Conference Finals?

#ConfFinals
(NBA Getty Images)

Dynasties have dominated the 75 years of the NBA.

Eight teams have won three or more titles and five have won at least five championships, with as many as 34 trophies being equally split among two franchises in the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

While the riches are shared by an elite few, there are a few teams that haven't contended for a Conference Championship.

Here's a look at the short list, now down to just two teams after the LA Clippers advanced to their first Conference Finals in franchise history this postseason.

Charlotte Hornets

After joining the NBA in 1988, the Hornets were playoff regulars from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s with seven postseason appearances in 10 years, including three trips to the Conference Semifinals in a five-year span (1998-2002).

However, things changed after 2002.

As NBA basketball returned to Charlotte after a couple of years of absence (2002-04) with the Bobcats franchise, things were very different.

Since 2004, the franchise has made the playoffs just three times and each time their season ended in the first round. The closest the Hornets have come to making the Conference Finals is in 2001 when they lost in Game 7 to the eventual Conference Champions in the Philadelphia 76ers.

Their 31-year wait is the third-longest active drought.

New Orleans Pelicans

Among the youngest teams in the league, having joined the NBA in 2002, it's not too surprising to have the Pelicans (formerly Hornets) here.

In 19 years, the Pelicans have advanced to the Conference Semifinals twice in seven playoff trips. In 2008, led by Chris Paul, they came might close to their first-ever Conference Finals but came short in a hard-fought 91-82 Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs, the defending champions at that time.

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