Ivica Zubac’s three-on-three games with Rajon Rondo helped prepare him for a bigger role with Lakers
Rajon Rondo is partly responsible for preparing Ivica Zubac for his bigger role with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, Zubac revealed that he had three-on-three games with the veteran guard, while the latter was recovering from a broken hand. These drills created familiarity and chemistry between the two:
“I know how to play the pick-and-roll game. And Rondo is one of the best guys to do it,” Zubac said. “It feels like I’ve been playing with him for a long time. And I always know where to be and he knows where I’m going to be and he knows how to find me.”
The 21-year-old has been the Lakers’ starting center for the past three games in the absence of JaVale McGee. And in these three games, Ivica Zubac averaged 17.6 points on 78.1 percent shooting as well as 8.6 rebounds per game. This is a major bump from his season averages of 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds.
On the court, his chemistry with Rajon Rondo and the rest of the Lakers is pretty apparent. He was the recipient of nifty passes off pick-and-rolls with LeBron James and Lonzo Ball. On top of that, he’s crashing the boards and making defensive plays — tallying a total of eight blocks in the said three-game span.
Ivica Zubac knows that it’s not up to him but he definitely deserves some more playing time. If he keeps this performance up, he may get his wish. The Lakers are not just equipped with a hungry young core and LeBron James, they also have a young center on the rise.