Are Clippers really just a basketball mirage?

Blake Griffin is not expected to be in uniform for the Pistons against the Cavaliers tonight in Detroit.

Bill Reiter of CBS Sports writes that the Los Angeles Clippers are a “regular-season illusion, a team marked for disappoinment,” and a group that “can’t be taken seriously.”

Reiter adds: “And no, it’s not because they lost to a very bad Brooklyn Nets team Tuesday night in double overtime.”

The Clippers visit Cleveland on Thursday in one of the most-anticipated games of the early NBA season. The Cavaliers are the defending champions. The Clippers are Cavs wannabes, and that’s not a bad thing.

In fact, coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers are using the Cavs’ ability to overtake the dreaded Golden State Warriors as their own personal inspiration. The Warriors aren’t as indestructible as they wanted everyone to believe, the Clippers say. And the Cavs proved it.

The Clippers believe they can, too. (As an aside, the first Clippers-Warriors game is Dec. 7.)

Anyway, back to Reiter. He wrote of the Clippers:

“I’ve seen this movie before, and I’ve seen how it ends: A chunk of the regular season that is glorious, wildly promising, a sign of things to come once May rolls around … and then a flameout in the postseason.”

So Reiter doesn’t believe. But do you? Do even Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the rest?

“It’s always something. Injuries. Poor team chemistry. Blake punching his buddy in the head in the regular season and breaking his hand in the process,” Reiter writes. “Whatever. The ending always is the same.”


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