Coming into the 2016-17 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers knew they had some special in rookie center Ivica Zubac. Although the Lakers brass knew Zubac was a solid addition to the team, the Croatian import wasn’t expected to play much in his first season.
With the team now beyond the halfway point of the season, Zubac is starting to get significant time on the floor and has made the best of his newfound opportunities. Along with becoming a fan favorite, Zubac has received a lot of support from his teammates, including D’Angelo Russell.
Russell, who has maintained a seemingly close relationship with Zubac, took to Twitter once again on Sunday to put fans on notice about Zubac’s potential:
— D'Angelo Russell (@Dloading) January 29, 2017
Zuuu ? kid is good!
— D'Angelo Russell (@Dloading) January 27, 2017
Zubac, who also likes engaging fans and his teammates on Twitter, responded to Russell:
— Ivica Zubac (@ivicazubac) January 29, 2017
With the Luke Walton and the coaching staff having high praise for Zubac and the effort he’s put forth as of late, it seems as though he’ll have an increased role moving forward.
Zubac’s breakout performance came against the Denver Nuggets back on Jan. 17. The 19-year-old center set career-high numbers in a number of different categories finishing with 13 rebounds, 11 points, three blocks, an assist and a steal. Zubac played 26 minutes and turned a lot of heads in the process.
In the last two games against the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz, Zubac has recorded consecutive double-doubles. That trend could continue for the rookie on Tuesday with the Lakers set to face the team in which he had his breakout performance in the Nuggets at the Staples Center.