Clipper fans need to pump the brakes on center worries

LA ClippersIvica Zubac(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
LA ClippersIvica Zubac(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

After just two preseason games, fans are already very concerned with the LA Clippers’ center position. It’s early though, so give it time.

Preseason in the NBA is a time dominated by hot takes. Armchair GM’s and coaches tweet out everything they see in meaningless minutes and assume that what they are seeing will be the norm. For the LA Clippers, one of the hottest takes has been surrounding the center position.

Keep in mind, the team has played just two games. One came against the Houston Rockets while the other was versus the Shanghai Sharks, a CBA team. In both games, the center position caught scrutiny with Ivica Zubac being the main target.

But hold up. It’s preseason. Why are we jumping to conclusions?

Zubac fouled out in Sunday’s outing in just a shade over eleven minutes of play. Twitter got silly. But outside of the fouls, Zu looked okay. He hit three of his four shots, grabbed seven rebounds and even dished out an assist. Assuming the fouls come down, Clippers will take that type of production any time from Zu. (For what it’s worth, check out this tweet by Justin Russo that shows all six of Zubac’s fouls.)

Fans have to stop for a second and remember that preseason is not fully indicative of what we can expect in the preseason. This rings especially true for fouls and turnovers. Teams are more concerned with guys getting plays down and building chemistry. If they are committing turnovers or fouling, they are learning.

Speaking of chemistry, let’s also keep in mind that we have not seen this team at full strength. There have been concerns about rim protection, especially against the game versus the Rockets when Clint Capela scored 14 points. How would that change though with both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard on the court? (Houston was missing Russell Westbrook.)  If James Harden, who scored 37 and had 7 assists, has a premiere defender on him like George or Leonard, the whole dynamic of the game changes. Having elite perimeter defenders takes the pressure off Zubac. Teams have to prepare differently and the drives to the hoop may be limited.

Next. Clippers fans have to wait for the real fun. dark

Basically, let’s just chill. Preseason is a great time to see our players and to get a feel for the team, but don’t take every outing as gospel. If opening night comes around and Zu gets dominated, then sure, let’s start having conversations about the center position. Until then, just enjoy basketball being back.