It’s been four years since the Charlotte Bobcats made the playoffs. In that time their have been births, graduations and a presidential re-election. For the Bobcats, that time has been filled with disappointment and frustration after deconstructing their previous playoff team. Yet, after winning a total of 28 games the past two years, they have finally made their return to the playoffs. The bad news is that the will be facing the defending champion Miami Heat.
Though they face a likely cameo appearance in the 2014 playoffs, that isn’t the be all and end all for Charlotte. This is about gaining experience for the future and learning what it takes to succeed as a playoff team. For players like Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist getting their first taste of playoff basketball, they will be imbued with a desire to get back again and again. For rookie coach Steve Clifford, this will also be a learning experience for him as well. All of this can only help the Bobcats as they continue to re-shape their image and continue to grow as a team.
Charlotte will be facing a tremendous task in trying to keep up with the Heat, but it’s important to remember that– win or lose –this season is a success whether this series goes four games or seven. Having won eight of their nine final games, the Bobcats exhibited a focus beyond their years, and proved that they belonged. They may not be the most talented team on the court, but damn’t if they don’t try to be the hardest working.