Season in review
In his second full season in Dallas, Boban Marjanovic continued to do all the things you want Boban Marjanovic to do - grab boards, stand in the paint and casually place the ball in the hoop, creative lasting friendships that become the envy of the league. But, it’s unfortunate that it must be mentioned that Boban did all those things at a noticeably reduced rate. Except the friendship part.
Boban played in 33 games in the shortened season and averaged 4.7 points per game and 8.3 minutes played: all represent a decline for the big man. Perhaps that’s to be expected, and a man his size and age contributing anything at an NBA level should be commended, but the part that really hurts is Boban’s declining efficiency.
For many years, Boban put together offensive efficiency numbers that made him the most efficient scorer in NBA history, however, his .512 eFG%, even if he had taken enough shots to qualify, would have him barely cracking the top 100 in that metric. Scoring numbers aside, he did bless us with a single glorious made three to give him a 1-8 season beyond the arc.
After earning just three starts across the entire season, Boban was a surprise starter in three of the Mavericks’ seven playoff games against the LA Clippers.
With the Clippers going small throughout most of the series, Rick Carlisle zigged as LA zagged, starting Boban alongside Kristaps Porzingis to go not just big, but enormous. Boban’s best game of the season perhaps came in one of those starts, a game six loss where he grabbed nine boards, scored 12 points and was a +5 on a night the team ended up losing a close game by seven.
He had better scoring nights and nights with more blocks and rebounds, but in a measure of how meaningful the game was, no other matched up to his performance when he was called upon to jump into the starting lineup.
With Boban finishing up the second and final season of the two year contract he signed in 2019, his status is up in the air. It’s unlikely he’ll command more than a veteran minimum contract at this point in his career, so financially, there’s not much stopping Dallas from bringing back the big man if they so desire. There are certainly much worse ways to use a roster spot than on a beloved locker room presence - especially one so well liked by Luka Doncic. Still, with a season that ended sooner than many - especially Luka - would’ve liked it to, there’s a good chance the front office will be looking for an upgrade at that backup center spot.
It’s likely we’ve seen the last of Boban Marjanovic in a Dallas jersey. But don’t be sad because it’s over. Be happy because it happened.