3 Pressing Clippers questions left to be answered after the All-Star break

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Clippers / Harry How/GettyImages
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3. Will the Clippers continue to play three centers?

With Ivica Zubac recently returning from injury, the Clippers have an abundance of depth at the center position. During Saturday's win over the Pistons, third-string center Daniel Theis did not check into the game, leading to some questions about what the center rotation will look like going forward.

Despite Zubac's minutes restriction as he continues to work his way back from a strained calf that has sidelined the 26-year-old center for 10 games over the past month, back-up center Mason Plumlee has played roughly 13 minutes per game since the beginning of this homestand. The reason for this is a recent quirk in Tyronn Lue's rotations: a small ball closing lineup.

The catalyst that sparked a 22-0 run to erase an 18-point fourth quarter deficit and defeat the Brooklyn Nets last month was the small ball scheme Lue deployed late in the game. Russell Westbrook took on the role of guarding Nic Claxton as the Clippers' de facto center, a matchup that Westbrook can contend with defensively due to his high energy and exploit on the offensive end.

With Western Conference juggernauts such as the Nuggets and the Timberwolves relying heavily on the play their star-studded frontcourts, it would be unwise to task Westbrook with center duties in some of the team's key matchups. However, the increased usage and effectiveness of the small ball lineups as of late begs the question of how often the Clippers will involve a traditional center in the rotation.

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