The Los Angeles Lakers might be turning a corner, but it’s still hard to see them making the postseason in the stacked West, four games behind the 8th place. With two current All-Stars (Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard) and two MVP winners (Bryant and Steve Nash), they might be making history as one of the most star studded teams to miss the playoffs.
Two or More All-Stars
Houston Rockets, 2005-2006: The Rockets had both Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming on their team that season, but finished last in their division with a 34-48 record. McGrady played in only 47 games and Ming played in 57, which helps explains why they missed the postseason that year, ruining what could have been a six year streak.
Houston Rockets, 2002-2003: The Rockets finish 43-39 with their two All-Stars, rookie Yao Ming and Steve Francis. The two didn’t miss many games, but the Rockets were simply not good enough in a crowded West, missing the postseason by 0.5 games. Glen Rice, a former All-Star, was also playing on that team.
Boston Celtics, 1977-1978: The late 1970’s Celtics were a mess, and this team, with Dave Cowens and John Havlicek, two players who led them to titles in previous seasons, finished with a 32-50 record. The team around them simply wasn’t good enough.
Atlanta Hawks, 1973-1974: The Hawks had both Pete Maravich and Lou Hudson that year, but that wasn’t enough for more than a 35-47 record, which was 7 games below the worst team that got into the postseason that year.
Cincinnati Royals, 1967-1969 – Both Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas on the team, and the Royals still couldn’t get into the postseason for two consecutive years, after six straight years of reaching the playoffs.
San Francisco Warriors, 1965-1966 – Ricky Barry was the rookie of the year with 25.7 points per game; Guy Rogers averaged 18.6 points and 10.8 assists; Nate Thurmond averaged 16.3 points and 18 rebounds per game. Still, that version of the Warriors is the only team in NBA history with three current All-Stars to miss the postseason in a league that had only 9 teams.
Teams With 2 MVP Winners
2008-2009 Phoenix Suns – The Suns had both Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash, not to mention someone like Amare Stoudemire (who missed 30 games) as well. The Suns had the best offense in the NBA (nearly 110 points per game) but the fourth worst defense, finishing with a 46-36 record, not enough in the loaded West.
1999-2000 Houston Rockets – Too old to be of much use, Hakeem Olajuwon played in only 44 games; Charles Barkley managed only 20, as the Rockets, moving over to a new decade with Steve Francis, finished with a 34-48 record.
1978-1979 Boston Celtics – Still Dave Cowens, with the addition of Bob McAdoo (who played in only 20 games) couldn’t help the Celtics from finishing with a 29-53 record, then the worst record in franchise history. Everything changed a year later with Larry Bird arriving.
1969-1970 Cincinnati Royals – Oscar Robertson was less and less amazing; Bob Cousy played in only 7 games. The Royals finished with a 36-46 record. They left Ohio three years later.