No matter all the injuries the Clippers have dealt with over the past few seasons, the one constant in their lineup has always been Ivica Zubac. The center has not missed a regular season game since he was acquired via trade in February 2019, though it is worth noting that he did miss two playoff games with a sprained MCL and has been benched for other postseason contests.
Zubac has a streak of 205 consecutive regular-season games played, and it seems to mean something to the 24-year-old, considering he refused any rest days last season, even if it meant he only played a few possessions before taking a seat.
Alas, Zubac will be unavailable for the Clippers’ New Year’s Eve matchup against the Toronto Raptors, as the team announced he entered the health and safety protocols. The current NBA iron man leader is Mikal Bridges, who has played every contest since being drafted, a streak of 261 and counting.
Ivica Zubac's streak of 205 consecutive regular season games played will come to an end due to entering the league's health and safety protocols.— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) December 30, 2021
Zubac is the fourth Clipper now in the protocol, joining Brandon Boston Jr., Jay Scrubb, and Moses Wright. Marcus Morris Sr. and Reggie Jackson both recently cleared the protocol, with Jackson expected to return for the Clippers in Toronto.
The absence of Zubac gives Serge Ibaka an opportunity to start against his former team for the first time since leaving the Raptors. He has yet to play against Toronto as a Clipper, missing both games last season with his back injury. Covid restrictions in Canada will limit the arena to a capacity of 1,000 fans, but hopefully that small contingent will give Ibaka the champion’s reception he has earned.
In the meantime, best of luck to Zubac and all the other Clippers currently dealing with Covid. Here’s hoping he starts a new streak very soon.