Clippers news: Ivica Zubac is working on 3-point shooting this offseason
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Ivica Zubac is working on 3-point shooting this offseason

Clippers, Ivica Zubac

As part of a recent interview with Jovan Buha of The Athletic, L.A. Clippers big man Ivica Zubac noted that he has been working on his perimeter shooting this offseason.

Zubac has always felt confident with his shot from beyond the arc, but for whatever reason, he hasn’t been asked to use it much. Now, at the request of the Clippers’ coaching staff, he’ll look to utilize his marksmanship in the coming season:

“I took that seriously,” Zubac told The Athletic. “I worked on it really hard. It’s gotten so much better and it’ll get even better before the season starts. … I’m gonna be ready if they need me to shoot it.”

Zubac recently posted a video of himself practicing 3-point shots. The 7-1 center was knocking them down, but he knows he’ll still need to be a solid rim protector:

“I already had a conversation with (coach) Doc (Rivers),” Zubac said. “It’s basically going to be like if he needs me to shoot them, I’ll have that. He was like, when it happens, I just have to have confidence and just shoot it and let it fly. I know my strengths. I know I gotta be in the paint, I know I gotta do rim protection, I know I gotta set hard picks, roll hard, be in the dunker, try to get offensive rebounds and stuff like that. At the same moment, I’ve worked hard on my 3-point shot, so if Doc needs me to shoot it, which I believe at some point they’re going to want me to spread the floor and spread the paint, I’m going to be able to do it.”

Though his shot from outside is steadily improving, Zubac has been leery of taking them in an actual game setting. That is, until he joined the Clippers, who seem to be open to utilizing his talent to the fullest:

“I never imagined,” Zubac said. “I always had that shot. But coaches never wanted me to shoot 3s. So I was like, ‘If they don’t need me to shoot 3s, I’m not going to do it.’ I’m not going to shoot it out of nowhere if coach doesn’t want me to shoot it and mess up my minutes because I never had in my whole career. Until I got to the Clippers, I never had a chance to play in the rotation every game. I was always under the impression that if I shoot a 3 and miss it, I might lose some minutes or go to the bench. So I never tried it. But I always had a shot. The Clippers’ player development coaches are saying, ‘You got it. You just need to get the shots up. You have to work on it every day. But the technique is there.’ Everyone’s really happy with how my shot is going.”

It’s not clear what the 2019-20 campaign will hold for Zubac and the Clippers. With the offseason additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, many experts and analysts are viewing L.A. as one of the favorites in the Western Conference.