What year was the New Orleans Pelicans’ best playoff run?

CJ McCollum & Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans. Cameron Johnson & Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns.(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum & Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans. Cameron Johnson & Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns.(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

As many of us are painfully aware at this point, the New Orleans Pelicans are not participating in the 2023 NBA Playoffs (although they were part of a play-in game that ended rather tragically). Still, through the course of their 21-year franchise history, the team has had a couple of memorable playoff runs.

So, which one of these runs is the best one?

Well, if your definition of “best playoff run” is the one where New Orleans made it the furthest, the answer to that question would have to be the 2008 Playoffs. If you’ll recall, that is the year that Chris Paul and the rest of the then-New Orleans Hornets pushed the San Antonio Spurs to seven games in the Western Conference Semifinals. Along with Paul, that team also included franchise icons like David West, Tyson Chandler, Morris Peterson, and Peja Stojakovic.

But what if your definition of “best playoff run” is more fluid than just how far into the dance the team made it? What if your definition is more about the memories that come with the run?

In that case, we thought it was wise to put out a Twitter poll to get a feel for the temperature of the fanbase. Here are the runs we included in the poll.

First, we had to include the 2008 Playoffs. Just too competitive of a team to leave it off.

We also included the only other time that the team has won a playoff series in franchise history, which was the 2018 Playoffs (when they defeated the higher-seeded Portland Trail Blazers). That team was captained by the star duo of Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. And in the closing game of the series, the tandem posted the highest and second-highest scoring outputs in a single playoff game in franchise history.

The other two runs we included are the ones made during the 2004 and 2011 Playoffs. In 2004, the New Orleans Hornets (then part of the Eastern Conference) pushed the Miami Heat to a seven game series in the first round. That team featured a young David West, along with guys like Jamal Magloire, P.J. Brown, Baron Davis, and Darrell Armstrong.

The 2011 Playoffs were Paul’s final playoffs with the team. It was memorable because, for a moment in time, it seemed like the underdog Hornets (a seventh-seed in that postseason) had a legitimate shot of upsetting the defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers (led by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol) after stealing Game 1 of the series on the road. They ultimately fell in six games, but it really did feel like they had a chance there for a second.

So, which one was the most memorable? Here is what you all thought:

So, there you have it, folks, the winner (receiving over half the votes) is the 2018 Playoffs. So, it looks like, when it comes to enjoyment, it isn’t strictly about how far the team made it in the playoffs. It’s about the memories that you acquire throughout the process.

Next. 10 Players the Pelicans gave up on way too soon. dark