Los Angeles Lakers big man Ivica Zubac’s 19 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks weren’t the only reason the South Bay Lakers were able to knock off the Austin Spurs Friday, but they were the most notable takeaway for fans of the parent club.
In his second game on assignment in South Bay, Zubac continued to look more lithe and active than he did last season, fluidly moving around the court in a way most seven-footers of his bulk cannot match. At this point, Zubac highlights are familiar for anyone who’s been paying attention over the last year. They’re going to feature smooth hook shots, nice touch around the rim, skill on the offensive glass and a few instances of rim protection.
But just because those are the types of things expected from Zubac at this point doesn’t mean they aren’t worth keeping an eye on, and South Bay’s official Twitter account gave fans who missed the game a glimpse at why so many are still so high on Zubac’s potential moving forward:
Owning the paint on both ends led to a double-double for @IvicaZubac. 💪
— South Bay Lakers (@SouthBayLakers) November 19, 2017
Zubac not getting minutes with the parent team this season has been less a function of him not deserving it and more borne out of Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton’s desire to go small in the minutes Brook Lopez isn’t playing.
Even though he’s out of the rotation, though, Zubac could still be a big part of the Lakers’ young core moving forward if he keeps developing down the path he was on last season.
With that in mind, the front office appears to making a prudent move by letting him get some much-needed minutes with their G-League affiliate so Zubac can stay in shape and stay ready for when he’s next called upon.
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