The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled recently losing their last five games, but one bright spot over the last couple of games has been the play of rookie center Ivica Zubac.
After a couple of decent showings in garbage time, Zubac had a career night on Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets. Zubac had his first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds while also adding three blocks in 26 minutes.
The rookie was a major reason the Lakers were able to make a comeback in the fourth quarter against the Nuggets, and according to Mark Medina of the LA Daily News, Zubac feels his best skill is his feel for the game:
“It’s just natural. I always had a good feeling for the game to be in a good spot to score or to rebound or block shots,” Zubac said. “I can’t jump high, but I have good timing and feel for the blocks. The feel for the game is the best thing I got.”
While he hasn’t seen much time on an NBA floor, the rookie has spent plenty of time in the D-League working on his game, and he took that time very seriously:
“Every minute in the D-League, I was locked in mentally,” Zubac said. “I knew this was going to help for my NBA development. I was doing it as hard as I can. It paid off.”
That kind of mindset and attitude is what allowed Zubac to contribute when called upon in these last couple of games. He is extremely skilled and has all of the talent to become an excellent center in this league.
To be blessed with an innate feel for the game is something that not everyone has. As he continues to develop the rest of his skill set, he will continue to prove to be a big part of the Lakers’ future.