LA Clippers Injury Report: Ivica Zubac’s calf strain will keep him out of action for at least four weeks

The Los Angeles Clippers are quite easily one of the best performing teams in the league right now. With 9 wins in their last 11 games, the team is on a mission to finally end their title-drought once and for all.

However, the Clippers will have to continue on their conquest without the services of center Ivica Zubac. The star, who was a key player for the Clippers’ success will be sidelined with an injury which will keep him out for a considerable amount of time.

Ivica Zubac is out for four weeks due to calf injury

Clippers center Ivica Zubac is set to be far from basketball for a significant period of time, NBA Insider Shams Charania reported earlier today.

Ivica Zubac
Zubac’s absence will be a huge blow for the Clippers via Associated Press

This news comes as a huge dent for the Clippers who have been on a roll ever since the beginning of the new year. While it is uncertain what sparked such a momentous shift in their performances, there is a new resolution within the team to give their best in all games and all possessions, regardless of the outcome.

But now the Clippers embark for the next few weeks without their reliant center, Ivica Zubac, who with his presence, established a balance within the team in the form of spacing and rebounding. This season the Croatian star has been averaging 12.4 points per game along with a very crucial 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game for the Clips. While his offense does not hold much impact, Zubac’s defense is what makes him invaluable to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Ivica Zubac
The Croatian has been a strong defensive anchor for the Clips via Associated Press

The player’s patient yet aggressive defense relieves the pressure of intensity on other players on the team such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

“Clippers center Ivica Zubac will be re-evaluated in four weeks due to a calf strain.”, reported Shams Charania.

Speaking on how Zubac’s injury would affect the Clippers, Coach Tyronn Lue said, “To miss this much time, extended period of time, it’s going to be hard on us but it’s going to be hard on him [since he always plays].”

While Ivica Zubac’s absence is a significant blow for the Los Angeles Clippers, it might also be the perfect opportunity for NBA veteran Mason Plumlee.

Mason Plumlee likely to cover Zubac’s absence

Ivica Zubac’s injury might just happen to be a blessing in disguise for 33-year-old Mason Plumlee.

The player who re-signed with the Clippers in July, last year has been an important role player for the Clippers, leading the bench unit while integrating smoothly into the team’s main rotation. With Zubac out for considerable time, all eyes fall on Plumlee to fill the beloved center’s shoes.

Mason Plumlee
Zubac’s injury allows Plumlee to make his mark as a starter via Associated Press

While Plumlee will struggle to be at par with Zubac’s defensive attributes, it is his scoring abilities that the Clippers can capitalize on. In his first start for the Clippers this season, Plumlee was efficient and effective scoring 14 points without missing a single shot from the field. Apart from his scoring, he also complemented the team with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 blocks in the 28 minutes he played. In short, a well-rounded effort from Mason Plumlee in a win against the Thunder.

If used effectively, Plumlee can be the perfect bandage to the pain of Zubac’s absence and can often be used to orchestrate the team’s offense which could relieve the pressure off stars like Paul George and James Harden.

Mason Plumlee
Plumlee can ignite the Clippers with his shot creation via Getty Images

Regardless, for the next few weeks, it is quite certain that Mason Plumlee will be an assured starter at the center position for the Los Angeles Clippers, who earned the praise of NBA legend Charles Barkley who claimed that the Clippers were the scariest team in the league at the moment.

What do you think of the Clippers playing Plumlee at the center? How significant has Ivica Zubac been for the Clippers this season? Will they be successful without their Croatian star? We are eager to know your thoughts and opinions on Mason Plumlee so feel free to comment below.

Caleb Mathew

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Feel free to reach out to me at @calebmathewww on Instagram.


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