With 17 games left in the regular season, the Charlotte Hornets are closer to the playoffs than they’ve been in years. After being as high as fourth in the East, the Hornets are currently eighth thanks to a four game losing streak.
If Charlotte can hold on to that eighth seed, they have the opportunity to snap their four season streak without a playoff appearance by qualifying and winning in the play-in tournament in May.
Traditionally, the seventh and eight seed are guaranteed playoff berths. Now, they are up for grabs in the play-in. Here’s the format:
The seventh and the eighth seed will play each other (seventh seed is the designated home team). The winner of that game clinches the seventh seed.
The ninth and 10th seed will play each other, and the winner of this game plays the loser of the seventh and eighth seed game to determine the eighth seed.
Currently, the Hornets are three games behind the Knicks for the sixth seed. They are also a game behind Miami for the seventh seed, a game ahead of the Pacers, and four games ahead of the Bulls.
After tonight’s game against the Blazers, the Hornets will face the Knicks on Tuesday. Then, it’s the Bulls, Cavaliers, the Celtics twice and the Bucks to finish out the month. In the final 10 games of the season, the Hornets will have two games against the Pistons, the Bulls and Knicks again; They will also face division rivals Heat, Magic, and Wizards.
During this current stretch, there are at least two realistic wins. Beating the Cavs and Knicks should be possible. In May, the Pistons, Knicks, Magic, and Wizards are all possible wins.
Will it be enough for the eight seed? If it is, it would be interesting to see how the Hornets would do in the play-in.
Will the Hornets make the playoffs? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter.