Charlotte Bobcats: West Coast trip makes the wrong kind of history


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) and the Charlotte Bobcats had a historic, if awful, trip out west. (Photo by dingo444/

The Charlotte Bobcats completed a spectacularly bad trip to the West Coast Monday, March 4, with a 122-105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.

It left the Bobcats 0-4 on their journey with the 17-point loss to the Trail Blazers representing the closest contest of the bunch.

That’s right: Charlotte lost all four games by at least 17 points.

That’s not just bad. That’s historically bad (more on that in a bit). The trip began on Tuesday, Feb. 26, with a 106-84 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, continued on Friday, March 1, with a 98-68 drubbing at the hands of the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena, which was followed by a 119-83 beatdown to the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.

The stats for the four-game trip were staggeringly bad. Charlotte shot just 39.9 percent from the floor (134-for-336) while allowing their opponents to shoot 52.1 percent (170-for-326). The disparity from 3-point range was striking, as well. While the Bobcats were clanking the ball up to the rim at a putrid 26.9 percent rate from deep (18-for-67), their opponents were making it rain from 3-point land at a 44.2 percent clip (42-for-95).

Rebounding? The ‘Cats were outrebounded by 70—that’s right, 70!—over the four games, 206-136.

So, yes, Charlotte was pretty bad. But since shocking the NBA with a 7-5 start under new coach Mike Dunlap, the Bobcats have reverted to the form that led them to an NBA-record low .106 winning percentage while going 7-59 in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season under coach Paul Silas.

This year, Charlotte has improved—and we use this word loosely—to 13-47. But the Bobcats are just 6-42 since beating the Toronto Raptors 98-97 on Nov. 21 to get to 7-5. That is a .125 winning percentage in the last three-plus months.

So back to the whole “making history” angle of what was a bad road trip; perhaps not Bataan Death March during World War II bad, but bad just the same.

The Bobcats became just the ninth team in the history of the NBA to lose four straight games on a single road trip by at least 17 points and the first to do so in 10 years.

Below are the other teams to achieve this dubious feat:

Year/TeamResultsFinal Record
 1962-63 New York KnicksOct. 30: 125-106 at San Francisco Warriors
Oct. 31: 115-95 at Los Angeles Lakers
Nov. 2: 143-121 at San Francisco Warriors
Nov. 4: 125-106 at Los Angeles Lakers
 21-59, 4th East
  1979-80 Utah JazzFeb. 9: 117-95 at Houston Rockets
Feb. 10: 148-128 at San Antonio Spurs
Feb. 13: 107-85 at Philadelphia 76ers
Feb. 14: 137-96 at New Jersey Nets
 24-58, 5th Midwest
  1989-90 Orlando MagicFeb. 21: 140-109 at Detroit Pistons
Feb. 23: 123-96 at Cleveland Cavaliers
Feb. 24: 141-124 at Washington Bullets
Feb. 26: 129-110 at Philadelphia 76ers
 18-64, 7th Central
  1993-94 Washington BulletsMarch 15: 123-93 at Golden State Warriors
March 16: 129-94 at Los Angeles Lakers
March 18: 122-104 at Portland Trail Blazers
March 20: 132-99 at Denver Nuggets
 24-58, 7th Atlantic
  1997-98 Vancouver GrizzliesNov. 23: 104-84 at New York Knicks
Nov. 26: 101-82 at Milwaukee Bucks
Nov. 27: 106-85 at Indiana Pacers
Nov. 29: 106-87 at Minnesota Timberwolves
 19-63, 6th Midwest
  1997-98 Golden State WarriorsFeb. 26: 110-87 at Washington Wizards
Feb. 27: 120-88 at Boston Celtics
March 1: 102-82 at Cleveland Cavaliers
March 2: 112-83 at Charlotte Hornets
 19-63, 6th Pacific
  1997-98 Denver NuggetsMarch 1: 90-63 at Indiana Pacers
March 3: 118-90 at Chicago Bulls
March 5: 104-87 at Milwaukee Bucks
March 6: 115-94 at Atlanta Hawks
 11-71, 7th Midwest
  2002-03 Cleveland CavaliersJan. 13: 118-94 at Portland Trail Blazers
Jan. 15: 108-80 at Golden State Warriors
Jan. 17: 97-80 at Denver Nuggets
Jan. 18: 95-78 at Utah Jazz
 17-65, 8th Central

Perhaps the most amazing part of that list is that of the eight previous times NBA teams have had such terrible road trips, three of them happened during the same season—1997-98—and two of them were concurrent. The Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets had four-game road stretches of complete futility that overlapped.

There have certainly been longer road losing streaks, but none that have failed to achieve the way the Bobcats’ did on their most recent journey to the West Coast.

The good news for the Bobcats and the bad news for historians is that Charlotte has no shot to break the mark: The Bobcats’ next game is back at home against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, March 6, against the Brooklyn Nets.

Of course, Charlotte is just 7-22 at Time Warner Cable Arena … so it might not be that much good news, after all.