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Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Zubac said he tested positive the week before the Fourth of July and is just starting to get his wind back ahead of the NBA‘s restart at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
The Clippers head into Thursday night’s matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers potentially short-handed. Lou Williams will not be available after the NBA mandated he undergo a 10-day quarantine following an excused absence to attend a funeral. While in Atlanta, however, Williams went to a strip club to get food.
Head coach Doc Rivers told reporters Monday that he believes Landry Shamet will be available against the Lakers, while Patrick Beverley is a maybe. He did not comment on Montrezl Harrell’s status; the forward was also granted an excused absence to attend to family matters. And Zubac started Monday’s scrimmage, putting him in line to potentially play Thursday.
That’s a lot of uncertainty for the Clippers, who head into the restart as one of the favorites to win the NBA title. The Clippers have already secured a playoff berth, so only seeding is at stake during the eight games remaining of the regular season.
As for Zubac, the 23-year-old has started 62 games for the Clippers this year, averaging 8.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 18.1 minutes per game. While the 7-footer isn’t one of the team’s stars, he’s become an important part of the rotation as a screener, rebounder and physical presence in the paint defensively.
Having the Bosnian Croat available, even for limited minutes, will be all the more important for the Clippers while Harrell remains away from the team.