Ladies and gentleman, I didn’t want to dive right in and make much of a few games. I wanted to sit and let it marinate in my head, evaluate the man child that he is, but THE BOY CAN BALL!
Can we put things in prospective of the potential we see in our own 7’1, 265 lb Ivica Zubac. I’m of the kind that likes calling things before they unravel, and when i call it ill be braggadocios.
When i previously wrote for another site, i wrote about Jordan Clarkson. The potential we saw, the minutes he needed so that he may improve and how he’s proven every year when he’s received the necessary minutes that he can produce numbers.
Draft night 2016, with the 32nd pick in the 2nd round the Los Angeles Lakers selected Ivica Zubac.
We drafted a 19 year old 7’1 , 265 lb kid from Bosnia. Ivica Zubac isn’t new to the game. He played in Europe from 2013- 2016 going through the ranks and improving his game. At one point he played in Croatia’s top tier A1 league.
Most of us thought he would probably be another overseas player we’re drafting and would soon release as many cases. Not many of us had the idea that he was a potential prospect with a high upside. You could say it, but you couldn’t really confirm it since we hadn’t seen many of his games.
Ivica Zubac was assigned to Los Angeles Lakers summer league team where he averaged 10.8 ppgs, 8 rpg, and 2.6 bpg through 5 games. Enough production to get him a roster spots on the Lakers.
From there he was assigned to the D-fenders, the lakers D league affiliate team. Again, balled out as he shot 58% from the field, 83% from the charity strip and was averaging about 16 ppg, 10 rpg, 1bpg through 13 games. Seeing a big man in this era have 83% FT is a bonus.
As of recent Zubac has played like a man possessed. During these last 3 games the Lakers have given Zubaic an average of 24 min a game and with that he’s producing 15 ppg, and 8.6 rpg. The stats alone are impressive, but if you take in consideration how he gets the points and rebounds. The effort , the determination he shows when hes on the court minute after minute. How hustles back and down the court every play and scraps underneath every possession. Lets go back to the 3 games before that, when he was averaging about 16 min a game, and getting 5.6 ppg, and 2.6 rpg which is not as impressive but, its production.
We see the minutes improvement and we see the production improvement. It all comes with adjusting to the NBA. He has the soft touch around the rim. He can back anyone into the post with his large framed body. Remember folks he’s 19 years old. He’s got the length, and he’s even worked on the sky hook with the legend himself Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar. He masters that unstoppable shot and we have no other choice but to throw the book at him to keep him in the purple and gold till he retires.
I never played a lick of time in the league thanks to my height challenged 5’9 ft self, and my lack of athleticism, but i do know you cant get into a groove if you don’t have the minutes. Feed Zubac minutes. I don’t care how it gets done, but do it and he will reward us with production in the middle that we’re lacking by a legitimate big man since the Gasol era.
My talented colleague Pedro wrote in his latest article on this exact subject.
There’s a part in there where he envisioned his line up with ZUbac eventually starting. I prefer a similar line up with D’Lo, Clarkson, Ingram, Zubac, but Randle would get the nod at start for sure no questions asked.