Larry Drew hints at Ante Zizic receiving more minutes
Cleveland Cavaliers young big man Ante Zizic played his best game of the season against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night. After the Croatian center posted 10 points and 9 rebounds that game, head coach Larry Drew hinted that Zizic will be receiving more minutes in the Cavs’ upcoming games.
Joe Vardon of The Athletic spoke to Drew after the team’s tenth loss in 11 games.
With all the injuries, fan favorite Ante Zizic made it out there and finished with 10 points and nine boards.
“The way he played tonight, does it deserve more minutes? Absolutely,” Drew said. Zizic’s 17 minutes were a season high and he hadn’t played more than five in any game since Oct. 19.
While the Cavs would lose that game, 95-86, Zizic was a surprising bright spot for the team. The 21-year old center also posted a team-high +9 in plus-minus.
Injuries have been adding to the Cavaliers’ pile of woes this season. Kevin Love has only played four games this year before going down with a foot injury. Starting point guard George Hill did not play last night with a left shoulder soreness, while Sam Dekker has sustained an ankle sprain that will keep him out for 2-4 weeks.
To make matters worse, young starting small forward Cedi Osman played just five minutes before leaving the game with back spasms. But the injury woes turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Zizic as Drew was forced to dig deeper into his bench that night.
Still, it remains to be seen if Zizic indeed cracks a consistent spot in the rotation. The Cavaliers go on the road for their next game against the Chicago Bulls.