Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Ante Zizic’s 2019-20 play thus far

Cleveland Cavaliers big Ante Zizic shoots. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big Ante Zizic shoots. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Ante Zizic, Cleveland Cavaliers
Ante Zizic (#41), Matthew Dellavedova (#18) and Dean Wade (#32 behind Zizic) of the Cleveland Cavaliers look on. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The 2019-20 season has been a rough one for Ante Zizic, who has often dealt with injuries, and when he’s been able to go, he hasn’t affected games much. Here, we’ll grade his play thus far this season.

In this 2019-20 campaign, it’s been anything but a year where Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic has been able to turn a corner.

Last offseason and before training camp, I would’ve thought that Zizic would’ve been able to do so as the season was set to progress, and then-head coach John Beilein seemed hopeful that Zizic could have a productive year.

He’d start off on the wrong foot, if you will, though, as Zizic unfortunately had a plantar fasciitis issue in his left foot throughout training camp and the preseason and did not make his debut for the Cavs until mid-November.

So realistically, Zizic was hard-pressed to be a rotational fixture, anyhow, and that was even with John Henson out for an extended period of 17 games after the Cavs’ home opener following a right hamstring strain.

Tristan Thompson was still in front of Zizic either way, though, and Henson would eventually be Cleveland’s backup season on most occasions, but considering both were set to be expiring and I thought could be moved by the 2020 trade deadline, that Zizic could at least have an expanded role post-deadline.

Henson was dealt to the Detroit Pistons, but the Cavs’ return from that trade package would be Andre Drummond, and leading into the NBA’s novel coronavirus-induced season suspension, Zizic wasn’t really set to get much meaningful playing time either way.

Plus, in a bad bit of luck for Zizic even before that, on January 11, Zizic got hit in the head accidentally by the Denver Nuggets’ Mason Plumlee, and suffered a vestibular issue that led to vertigo-like symptoms and he was out for a stretch from there even through the All-Star break.

So how has Zizic fared on the floor when he’s been available thus far this season, then?

We’ll get into that now, first touching on the offensive end.