Clippers Among Most Snake-Bitten NBA Playoff Teams

Clippers Among Most Snake-Bitten NBA Playoff Teams
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The Los Angeles Clippers find themselves in a familiar position as the NBA postseason fast approaches.

The Clippers, who are currently fifth in the Western Conference with a 41-38 record, are pretty much set to qualify for the playoffs for the 10th time in the last 12 years.

They’re also looking to avoid a pitfall that has tripped the franchise up more than any other NBA team since the 2010-11 season.

L.A. has more first-round exits as the higher seeded team (three) than any other team, with the Clippers being knocked out in the Western Conference quarterfinals 44% of the time.

In total, the Clippers have been bounded in the first round four times since 2012-13, last doing so in 2019.

There is no legal California sports betting, but oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook see this year’s Clippers team as a first-round liability. L.A. is sitting in a tie for the 10th-best championship odds (along with the Mavericks) to go with +900 odds of winning the Western Conference.

With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, — your spot for California sportsbook promos when betting does become legal — wanted to look at the NBA teams who have struggled the most in the playoffs since the 2010-11 season.

Whether it is not making it out of the first round or losing to lower-seeded opponents, we found the teams who just can’t seem to make noise come April.

Using a formula, we were able to combine each of the three categories to come up with the Top 10 teams that have been snake-bitten when reaching the NBA postseason.

Most Snake-Bitten NBA Postseason Teams Since 2010-11

Rank Team 1st Rd. Exit% Higher Seeded 1st Rd. Exits Higher Seeded 2nd Rd. Exits
1L.A. Clippers44.0%31
2Portland Trail Blazers66.7%20
3Chicago Bulls57.1%20
4Brooklyn Nets71.4%11
5Denver Nuggets57.1%11
6Memphis Grizzlies55.6%11
7Orlando Magic100.0%10
8Oklahoma City Thunder44.0%11
T9N.Y. Knicks25.0%11
T9Indiana Pacers66.7%10

Where Clippers Stand Entering Playoffs

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Clippers have little shot of moving up the conference standings, as they sit 2.5 games behind the Suns for the fourth seed in the West.

The biggest question remaining for L.A. is whether they’ll avoid the play-in tournament, as the Clippers currently have a half-game lead over the L.A. Lakers, who are currently seventh in the conference.

The Clippers can avoid the play-in tournament by beating the Lakers on Wednesday night and avoiding a slipup against the 33-45 Trail Blazers on Saturday.

Wins over the Lakers and Trail Blazers would likely allow the Clippers to stay in the fifth spot come the first round, which would pit them against the Suns.

From there, the heat will be on Paul George and company to avoid suffering a first-round elimination for the fifth time in the last decade.



Christopher Boan
Reporter / Journalist

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at, specializing in sports betting issues in the western United States. He's covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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