This past week, the Los Angeles Clippers suffered yet another epic collapse to end their season when they lost two contests in the National Basketball Association’s play-in tournament.
They fell to the ascendent Minnesota Timberwolves in the first game of the tournament, then lost to the New Orleans Pelicans just three days later to be eliminated from playoff contention.
It is simply a continuation of a long string of bad luck for the franchise.
The Clippers Always Seem To Find A Way To Fail
After moving to Los Angeles for the 1984-85 season, the Clippers were perhaps the NBA’s most pitiful franchise for nearly the next 30 years.
Between 1985 and 2011, they made the playoffs a whopping four times and won less than 25 percent of their games in seven seasons during that span.
When they acquired future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul and combined him with young stars Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, it finally looked like the Clippers had not just a good team, but possibly a championship-caliber one.
However, they never managed to even reach the conference finals with all three on the roster, and it often seemed to be because of a stroke of bad fortune.
The most glaring example game in 2015, when they faced the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals.
After taking a 3-1 series lead, L.A. held a 19-point lead late in the third quarter of Game 6 at home.
But the Rockets went on a stunning rally to take the contest 119-107, even with their superstar, James Harden, on the bench for virtually the entire comeback.
Clippers Game 6 collapse vs the Rockets in 2015pic.twitter.com/aI3vL5CnSX
— 𝙏𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙣’ 𝙉𝘽𝘼 (@_Talkin_NBA) April 15, 2022
L.A. then had key injuries in each of the next two postseasons, leading to two more early exits.
After a quick rebuild, it looked like the Clippers were the favorites to win the NBA championship in 2020.
But yet again, they blew a 3-1 series lead, this time to the Denver Nuggets, while giving up sizable leads in each of the final three games of the series.
It seems like this franchise just cannot catch a happy break.
L.A. Lost Two Games They Should’ve Won
Last week, the Clippers had a 93-83 lead early in the fourth quarter versus Minnesota, but the T’Wolves dominated the rest of the contest, and were led in spirit by Patrick Beverley, the former Clipper who seemed to have a personal vendetta against his old squad.
Then, even with George out due to COVID-19, L.A. took a 13-point lead over the Pelicans, but yet again, the roof caved in on it, and they came back to win, 105-101.
Pelicans hold off the Clippers despite blowing 16-point lead 🔥 pic.twitter.com/FpOYwuiKzh
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 16, 2022
The Clippers have plenty to be hopeful about for next season, as Leonard is expected to likely be ready for training camp, although with his injury history, managing his health throughout the season will always be a concern.
But the Clippers’ history begs the question: What may go wrong for them next spring?