The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on the 2021/22 NBA play-offs after a deplorable campaign. This is despite Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony joining LeBron James and Anthony Davis in LA during the off-season.
Here are five teams to miss out on the play-offs despite being quite good at basketball.
2021/22 Los Angeles Lakers
As mentioned prior, the Lakers tried to improve in the off-season by adding some more experience alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who led their team to a championship in 2020.
They brought back Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza and Rajon Rondo. Russell Westbrook was traded to LA, meanwhile Carmelo Anthony, Malik Monk, Kendrick Nunn and DeAndre Jordan also joined in free agency.
It was a window which led fans to believe the Lakers would compete for another championship in 21/22. However, as we predicted, it was not to be.
Davis missed a lot of basketball, Westbrook and Carmelo disappointed, LeBron was LeBron, but it was not enough in a stacked Western Conference as seven straight loses in crunch time saw the Lakers fall out of play-in tournament contention.
2014/15 Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC had a great team back in 14/15, but boy were they unlucky with injuries.
Scoring demon Kevin Durant missed the first 17 games after undergoing foot surgery. His injury problems in his right foot would not go away as he ended up missing 55 games in total. It became Russell Westbrook's team as he tried his best to guide the Thunder to the play-offs. He averaged 28.1 points per game and led them to a 45-win season.
This was not enough as OKC lost the deciding game against the New Orleans Pelicans and a team that could have won it all with a fully fit roster ended up missing out on post-season basketball altogether.
2013/14 Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns won 48 games in 13/14. Forty-eight games. And they missed the play-offs. The fifth-best team in the East won 44 games that season. The Suns' record means they would have strolled into the off-season if they were in the Eastern Conference.
Led by a backcourt consisting of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix finished one win behind the Dallas Mavericks who ended up eighth in the West.
On paper, this team would have overachieved in reaching the play-offs. However, to finish with a .585 win-loss percentage and not make the post-season is damn heartbreaking.
2007/08 Golden State Warriors
Another team to win 48 games and not make the play-offs. The Golden State Warriors felt the wrath of the clearly brutal Western Conference in 2008.
A total of 37 wins was enough to finish eighth in the East, and 48 wins would have seen you finish fourth ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Baron Davis played all 82 games, averaging 39 minutes per night, as he tried very hard to lead the Warriors to the play-offs. His 21.8 points per night was not enough, however. Nor was Stephen Jackson's 20.1 and Monta Ellis' 20.2 PPG.
All three played close to 40 minutes a night and deserved to reach the NBA post-season, but it was not to be.
1970/71 and 71/72 Phoenix Suns
From the start of 70/71 to the end of 71/72, the Suns won 97 games and lost 77. They failed to make the play-offs in either season. They finished 48-34 and 49-33.
Unfortunately for the Suns, back then the top two sides of each division would make the play-offs, and they finished behind the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls in the Midwest Division in both campaigns.
In 70/71, the Suns won seven more games than the San Francisco Warriors, but were technically fifth - behind the Warriors - in the West due to one making the play-offs and the other failing to do so. It is also worth mentioning that one team in the East had a better record than the Suns this season. One team.
Their 49-win season was amazingly the fifth-best record out of the Western Conference teams, meaning their post-season absence was more justified this time around. It was, however, once again, better than every East team bar one.
They had some good players in Paul Silas, Connie Hawkins, Dick Van Arsdale, Charlie Scott, Connie Hawkins and Neal Walk.