From star player injuries to series collapses, some days are harder than others for Clippers fans

Over the last several seasons, the Los Angeles Clippers seemed to have it all: an owner willing to spend money on the team, a state-of-the-art arena in the works and two superstars to build a possible championship roster around.

Yet once again, the Clippers find themselves in trouble. Clipper Nation once again are seeing their team at the brink of elimination, just one loss away from seeing the season come to an abrupt end – this season against the Phoenix Suns in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs.

But playoff heartaches and untimely injuries to superstar players are nothing new for Clipper Nation. Since joining the NBA in 1970, the Clippers have yet to make the NBA Finals, let alone capture the league championship. On the court, Clippers fans have had to watch superstars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in street clothes during the team's biggest games due to the fact they faced long-term injuries. Long before the Kawhi-PG era, the Clippers have dealt with other stars like Blake Griffin during the Lob City era and Danny Manning in the late 1990s getting sidelined for months during their prime years due to season-ending injuries.

With that in mind, some days are tougher than others for Clipper Nation.

Ricky Chu's family represents three generations of Clipper fandom. The Chu family are longtime season ticket holders and are watching Game 5 between the Clips and the Suns from Orange County.

Chu is hoping the Clippers can stave off elimination but is prepared for disappointment.

"We've gone through a lot of downs, some ups, mostly downs," said Chu. "We've had, you know, some good playoff runs. And we always end up, you know, kind of where we're at with injuries and do not."

On top of on-court heartbreaks, the Clippers for decades have been overshadowed by the Lakers' success and global popularity. But during the Lob City era and parts of the Kawhi-PG era, the Clippers have stormed their way to promising playoff runs – only to fall short.

For The Athletic's Law Murray, who covers the Clippers, the franchise's (mis)fortunes seem like an inevitability no matter who is leading the team.

"You're almost expecting the next bad thing to happen, and that's that," Murray said. "We're all with the Clippers now. Unfortunately, that's where the Clippers have been at as a franchise before."

And now, with Leonard and George both sidelines for Game 5 and possibly the rest of the series – should the team win Tuesday – the Clippers are once again on the verge of another disappointing finish.