Los Angeles — The sequence began successfully, with the Clippers Center Ivica’s Batch defeating Oklahoma City Thunder 108-100 on Sunday, winning one of 11 rebounds.
But then it became a little strange.
Zubac looked for someone to pass, saw Lou Williams well covered, and better thought about forcing the guard to pass.
Instead, a 7-foot player started the upcourt, dribbled with his right hand, and inspected the floor. It’s like channeling Denver’s Nikola Jokić with an average of 9.6 assists per game.
But this is Zubuck, his role is more comfortable than ever, and in the situation on Sunday, the Clippers were 15 points ahead in the first quarter with just a few seconds left — check — Zubuck A perfect pass to Kawhi Leonard for a 17-point dunk shot after lobing.
Who says no to Points? Certainly not.
“Whatever my team needs for me,” said the 23-year-old Croatian giant, before embarrassingly adding:
“But that’s what the team has to do to me, and I’ll keep doing my role as much as I can,” he said.
His role has shifted this season. After launching the first Season Plus game with the Clippers, Zubuck was first driven to the bench. He admits it was an adjustment.
But on the contrary, he increased his chances on the court later in the match, and so far this season, the fourth quarter record was 69 minutes.
He said he was a fan of the shift through Zoom, following Sunday’s victory.
“Sure, sure,” Zubac said. “I didn’t play much in the fourth quarter of last year, but I ran a bit in the playoffs in the fourth quarter and the game feels better. I find it very comfortable to be there.
“Everyone wants to play in the fourth quarter and everyone wants to finish the game. It’s great to be there because it’s the most important time of the game. But I’m still You have to do your job, you still have to be good. You can’t relax, and you have to get better when the store closes. ”
During the season, Zubuck averaged 18.5 minutes per game, a little longer than last season, contributing 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds. This is on the rise as his rhythm is starting to get off the bench. On average, he has scored as many points (9.7) as rebounds (9.7) in his last three games.
“He’s more aggressive just because he owns his space. Basketball rebounds. He’s an internal enforcer that blocks shots and keeps the rim vertical,” thanks to the Clippers. Coach Tyronn Lue said. “We knew it would take some time for him to get used to getting off the bench, but in the last three or four games he was astounding, so we told him … I want you to play better every night. ”
SGA trend rising
This record shows that Shai Gilgeous Alexander’s career began three years ago in Los Angeles. After being drafted to 11th overall, he landed and soon moved from Charlotte to the Clippers.
A season later, Gilgias Alexander was an important part of the trade that took Paul George from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles. There, Gilgias Alexander is currently playing, and his trajectory is, as expected, promising in every respect. Last season he averaged 19 points and 3.3 assists for the amazingly competitive Thunder team, and this season he has increased 21.6 points and 6.4 assists.
Losing twice to the Clippers, he sweated the previous team, scoring 26.5 points and 7.5 assists.
Lou, who was around him as a consultant in 2018-19, said it wasn’t difficult to track Gildias Alexander’s history.
“He was very confident,” Lou said. “And just see how he improved the shot. Really, every month it got better and better. He was a more midrange shooter, then he took his 3-point shot. Increased, and now he’s getting better and better with it, and now he’s just playing at the elite level of going to basketball, going to paint, and playing. ”