Through the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Clippers had a d…

Through the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Clippers had a defensive rating of 110.2, the 19th-best mark in the league. But over the past 13 games with Zubac at starting center, the team has posted a 108.8 defensive rating, the 11th-best figure in the league. Before their 125-104 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, the Clippers were a top-seven defense with Zubac. “We have a rim-protector. Bottom line,” Doc Rivers said. “Trezz does it at times. But Zu is a true rim-protector, and Zu has been great at it. So that’s why (we’ve improved).”
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