Looking at @BobanMarjanovic per/36 numbers really brings me back to Joel Embiid's rookie year. Boban's production is undeniable when he is on the floor.— J Blevins (@JBlevinsPFO) February 22, 2019
Debate raged regarding Joel Embiid during the majority of his rookie contract. Embiid’s believers would point to his otherworldly numbers to show his potential for dominance. Others would point to columns such as games and minutes played to reinforce a narrative that Joel could never be counted on to carry an NBA franchise.
Boban Marjanovic, 30, has similarly outstanding advanced metrics. The limiting factor for Marjanovic, so far in his career, has been scheme and conditioning related more than health. Still, with the time he is given on the floor, the numbers are striking.
“Bobi,” as Tobias Harris affectionately calls him, is Serbian and has played professionally since he was a 6’10” 14 year old. He entered the NBA in 2015 and scored 18 points for the San Antonio Spurs against a seemingly helpless 76ers team in December of that year. Anyone who stayed until the end of that early season rout (guilty) witnessed a player who was overwhelmingly massive. But his size was just part of the equation. He also displayed a deft and soft touch anywhere within 15′ of the rim. At times, he appeared to simply place the ball in the basket from 8′ away.
Since that debut, Marjanovic has been mainly used as a specialist in very limited minutes. He has averaged just 9 minutes per game in his NBA career, which represents basically third stringer status. But when you look at the numbers when he is on the floor, something fascinating happens. Turns out, Marjanovic is really, really good….
Comparing the Numbers
Let’s do a silly exercise with numbers to have some fun. Let’s compare Marjanovic with Karl Anthony Towns on a per 100 possessions basis.
So let’s look at this for a moment. Adjusting for play time, Marjanovic is an extremely effective player. In fact, in his time on the floor, he scores as much, and has a more positive impact on his team on both ends of the floor as Karl Anthony Towns.
No, I’m not suggesting that Boban is a better player than KAT, but this comparison serves to illustrate just how effective Marjanovic can be when used correctly.
Increasing the Sample Size
Why it Matters
Styles Make Fights
“I thought, in general, he was very good, and he was our bell-ringer tonight.” -Brett Brown after Thursday’s win