The LA Clippers have the most complete starting lineup in the league. Ivica Zubac is one of the pieces of the chessboard that helps the ultimate goal.
Having a complete team is what wins you championships. Everybody on the roster knows their role and does what they are supposed to do. The LA Clippers are the team that has achieved this the best out of 30 teams.
The Clippers have the best starting lineup in basketball. Every player can score, play defense and they all play hard. Patrick Beverley is one of the toughest players in the league. While he is known for his defense, he can also knock down threes as he shoots 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Everybody knows what Paul George and Kawhi Leonard can do at both ends of the court. Then they have the tough Marcus Morris Sr. manning the four spot after acquiring him at the trade deadline. He can do anything on the court, including score, defend, rebound and hustle.
Finally, you have Ivica Zubac. Even he can find a way to score and he averages close to a block a game for his career (0.8). This season Zubac averages 8.0 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He shoots 60.1 percent from the field.
During the trade deadline last year, the Los Angeles Lakers needed shooting. They went and traded Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Clippers for Mike Muscala. Both Beasley and Zubac were supposed to be in a deal for Anthony Davis, but it never materialized.
The Clippers got the better of the deal though as Zubac has become a fan favorite as his nicknames like Zupac and Zublocka suggest. He is the starting center for this team.
He wasn’t in the future for the Lakers but he has become a vital piece for the Clippers.
Zubac was a high second-round pick. Second-round picks usually don’t become starters but Zubac has been able to defy all odds in his journey to the Clippers. So what does he do well?
In this era of basketball, the center is not called to stay on the block and call for the ball. Zubac plays within the offense. He finds open holes in the defense for easy dunks by cutting to the basket and slashing to the hole off screens.
That is a perfect complement to the ball-dominant games of Kawhi and George. The offense runs through those two players so their ability to score in the half-court through those players is a big help.
Half-court offense can be a real weakness for the Clippers, but Zubac eases some of that pressure with his movement in those situations.
On defense, Zubac is a stud in the middle and complements the perimeter defense of Beverley, George and Leonard. If you manage to get through those guys you have to deal with Big Z in the middle.
Zubac provides movement on the offensive end in half-court situations and is the last line of defense at the defensive end. Zubac is the perfect center for this team and he fits the team’s philosophy of players fitting into their role.
When you can fire on all cylinders as the Clippers can, that gives the defense too much to compensate for and that’s what can win you championships. Constant pressure on the defense, which Zubac can provide in LA’s pursuit of its first-ever title.