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The Decline of Daniel Theis: Reasons for Decreased Playing Time at the Los Angeles Clippers

Daniel Theis has recently slipped to the back of the pack at the Los Angeles Clippers. Various reasons explain why his playing time is currently decreasing.

by Max Bruns

Daniel Theis is probably not happy with his role at the Los Angeles Clippers at the moment.

The German NBA star has recently had less playing time than a few weeks ago. On top of that, Theis and the Clippers have now been winless for three games in a row after the 107:123 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Previously there were three wins against Atlanta, Washington and Denver. In all three, Theis was on the plate for around 20 minutes. But in the three most recent defeats, the 31-year-old only played a total of around 25 minutes!

In five games in February, Theis only played 20 minutes or more for the Clippers once. For comparison: In 15 games in January there were seven games with at least 20 minutes of playing time for him. There were also six games in which there were 15 or more minutes.

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Only once did Theis stay under ten minutes of play. In the defeat against the Los Angeles Lakers, the man from Salzgitter only spent nine minutes on the field.

The numbers clearly show the negative trend in February. From an average of 15.8 minutes in November, to 17.2 minutes in December, to 18.3 minutes in January, Theis fell back massively to 12.3 minutes per game in February.

But what is the reason for the negative trend?

A problem for Theis: The Clippers’ squad depth. On paper, there are three names ahead of Theis on the depth chart at centers: Ivica Zubac, Mason Plumlee and PJ Tucker.

Plumlee’s comeback affects Theis

But Theis was already aware of this fact when he moved to LA towards the end of last year.

Theis was also aware that Plumlee was still injured at the time and would be out for quite some time.

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In his absence – Plumlee missed all of December and much of November – Theis’ playing time was always in double figures.

He primarily shared the role of center with the Clippers with Zubac. Now Plumlee has been back since February and the 33-year-old is getting a lot of playing time again.

Unfortunately for Theis.

Three top centers for 48 minutes

All three are strong centers, but they are three top men for only one position. Of the 48 minutes of playing time, Zubac alone takes up an average of around 25 minutes (in February).

There isn’t much time left, but there are two substitute players.

Another reason why Theis has recently become only third choice for head coach Tyronn Lue could be the crucial centimeters.

Zubac and Plumlee are physically stronger

According to “ESPN”, Zubac measures 7 feet (2.13 meters), Plumlee is 6 feet and 10 inches (2.08 meters) and Theis is “only” 6 feet and 8 inches (2.03 meters).

Theis is physically a bit inferior to the other two.

But it is also a fact: the season is far from over.

There are still enough games left and by the playoffs at the latest, every team will be happy if they not only have a roster as broad as the Clippers, but also such quality across the board.

The situation for Theis is not quite as dramatic as the numbers recently showed.

2024-02-26 14:57:00
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