STAT: Taking a losing record into NBA playoffs

The 2013-14 Hawks team - led by DeMarre Carroll (from left), Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver - took a losing record into the NBA playoffs.
The 2013-14 Hawks team - led by DeMarre Carroll (from left), Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver - took a losing record into the NBA playoffs.

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

The 2013-14 Atlanta Hawks made the NBA playoffs with a losing record, 38-44.

For the first time since 2015, teams with a losing record are in the NBA playoffs. Portland, Brooklyn and Orlando all finished the regular season with losing records — yet are still alive in the race for the NBA title in the Orlando bubble. It is the first time since 1997 that three teams below .500 are in the postseason.

Boston and Brooklyn were the last teams to get to the playoffs with losing marks, both getting there in 2015.

No team with a losing record has won a playoff series since 1987, when the Seattle SuperSonics won two rounds to reach the West finals.

The 2013-14 Hawks, however, came close.

In Mike Budenholzer’s first year as coach, the Atlanta squad — led by DeMarre Carroll, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver — faced the Eastern Conference’s top team, the Indiana Pacers, as the eighth seed.

The Hawks did the unprecedented, taking Games 1 and 5 in Indiana, behind a three-point barrage. In the midst of a 3-2 series disadvantage, Indiana was in danger of becoming the sixth first-seeded team to lose a series to an eight-seeded team in NBA history. Alas, the Pacers’ defense kept the Hawks in check taking the final two games to advance. Indiana lost to Miami in the conference finals.

Sub-.500 teams are 0-26 in first-round matchups.