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
Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic shoots. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Taking a look at Zizic’s offensive play

Zizic has not gotten much of a chance to further prove himself this season.

Given the aforementioned injury ailments he’s dealt with, he’s only appeared in 22 games in 2019-20, of which he’s played just 10.0 minutes per contest, per

In that time, he’s averaged 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds, which isn’t all that bad with a limited time span to get in-rhythm.

Per-36 minutes, Zizic has had splits of 15.6 points and 10.8 rebounds, as noted by Basketball Reference, which provides a glimpse into how if given more time on the floor, Zizic is capable of doing a solid job as an interior offensive presence, while helping clean the defensive glass with his 6-foot-10, 266-pound frame.

Zizic has displayed in his time with the Cavaliers that he’s a capable interior post player offensively, with much-improved footwork, good touch on hooks and as a roller in the push shot game, and he uses ball fakes well to get his hook looks off.

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His size enables him to set effective screens on and off the ball, too, and in the short roll off that in the mid-range area, Zizic is more than capable of hitting those looks.

For his near-three-year career to this point in rotational minutes, Zizic has hit 50.0 percent of his shot attempts from 10-16 feet out on a decent 9.8 percent frequency, per Basketball Reference.

The issue with Zizic is his passing feel has not seemed to progress much out of the low post outside of making simple passes out of doubles, and he is not at all a floor spacer to the three-point line yet.

That, along with his lack of quickness, often clogs up driving lanes for players such as Collin Sexton, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dante Exum when Zizic is out on the floor with them.

Zizic is not much of a lob threat really, either, even with him being a respectable finisher, and while even when fully healthy, he doesn’t run the floor too well.

Grading Zizic’s offensive play thus far in 2019-20: C-

Zizic is a legitimate post presence and has good feel as a scorer near the basket, as evidenced by his 56.9 percent shooting rate this season. As was mentioned, his frame and discipline allows him to be an effective screener, too, which helps shooters and cutters some.

Zizic again is not a three-point floor spacing threat at all, though, and his passing feel hasn’t seemed to develop further. When he’s out there, the Cavs have gotten decent rotational low-post scoring a bit in games with the occasional mid-range J, but not much else.

I was more bullish on Zizic before, but the injury issues have hurt his chances of being able to progress.