The Los Angeles Lakers got to see their center of the future at his best on Friday when they hosted the New Orleans Pelicans at Staples Center. No, I’m not talking about Anthony Davis: I’m, of course, talking about the one and only Ivica Zubac.
To the displeasure of most Lakers fans, Zubac made his first start of the season against Davis and the Pelicans with JaVale McGee (respiratory infection) sidelined. Not only did Zubac do a decent job on Davis, but he got it done on the offensive end as well.
In 32 minutes, Zubac tallied 16 points on a crazy efficient 8-10 shooting, 11 rebounds and 2 steals. He did almost all of that while being guarded by Davis. He was incredible, even in spite of getting into early foul trouble.
Davis still got his and scored a a game-high 30 points to go along with a monstrous 20 rebounds and 5 assists, but it could have easily been a lot worse.
The starters, as a whole, looked great as well. All five starters finished in double figures on Friday. Kyle Kuzma led the team with 23 points while posting a box plus-minus of +13.
LeBron James wasn’t too far behind with 22 points in addition to the 12 rebounds and 14 assists he tallied, earning him his third triple-double of the season.
Coming off of back-to-back losses on the road, the Lakers looked happy to be home and the crowd at Staples was happy to have them back.
The Lakers have a gap between their next game on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies, who they’ve beaten once already this season. It will be their final game before they take on the Golden State Warriors on Christmas day.
Can we fast-forward to Tuesday, please?