Boban Marjanovic was stuck in a deep reserve role behind Andre Drummond and Aron Baynes at center last season, playing just 35 games overall. While he showed some promise in the final four games of the season, a stretch where he averaged 15.8 points and 10.3 rebounds across 23.0 minutes, he's unlikely to become a significant part of the team's regular rotation as long as Drummond is around. When you add that to the fact that many NBA teams are transitioning to smaller, quicker big men at center, Marjanovic's 7-foot-3 frame could become an issue trying to defend some of those more athletic and perimeter based centers. Still, with Baynes now in Boston, Marjanovic will pick up backup center duties, a role that should afford him more than the 8.4 minutes he saw a season ago. Look for an uptick in production across the board for Marjanovic, but with Drummond still getting the bulk of the minutes, that should limit Marjanovic's value to those in deeper leagues.
Marjanovic scored 14 points (6-12 FG, 2-2 FT) and added 11 rebounds, three blocks and one steal in 21 minutes off the bench during Wednesday's 113-109 loss to the Magic. Marjonovic was one of the few bright spots during the final months of a disappointing 2016-17 season for the Pistons. Though the team went 4-12 over the final weeks of the season, Marjanovic emerged late with three double-doubles in four games, all of which were achieved in 28 minutes or fewer. Marjanovic is under contract with the Pistons for three more seasons.
Marjanovic posted 14 points (4-6 FG, 6-7 FT), 10 rebounds and one steal across just 22 minutes during Sunday's 103-90 victory over the Grizzlies. Marjanovic didn't attempt many field goals, but his willingness to work around the basket resulted in several trips to the line, where he converted with regularity. He also outrebounded Andre Drummond despite playing fewer minutes, illustrating his ability to produce whenever he sees the requisite usage. Detroit could deploy a similar evenly-distributed rotation for the last couple of games of the season, meaning Marjanovic could be in a position to contribute.
Marjanovic tallied a career-high 27 points (12-18 FG, 3-4 FT) to go with 12 rebounds and two assists across 28 minutes in a 114-109 win over the Rockets on Friday. In light of the Pistons' lackluster play heading into Friday, coach Stan Van Gundy announced he would make major adjustments to his rotation against the Rockets, indicating that Marjanovic and Henry Ellenson -- two big men who haven't been included in the rotation for much of the season -- would see 20-to-24 minutes. The rotation shakeup paid handsome dividends, as both players surpassed their projected minutes count while turning in double-doubles, with Marjanovic's scoring and rebound outputs leading the team. Because of his excellent play, Marjanovic even saw minutes in crunch time at the expense of starting center Andre Drummond, who was limited to eight points and nine rebounds over 20 minutes. After this standout performance, Marjanovic has likely cemented himself as the top backup at center over Aron Baynes, who was held out of the rotation Friday, and it wouldn't be surprising if he continued to outpace the struggling Drummond in playing time over the team's final three games. The 28-year-old looks like he could be a worthwhile waiver-wire target for the final week of the season.
Coach Stan Van Gundy said he expects Marjanovic to play 20-to-24 minutes Friday against the Rockets, Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports. The Pistons haven't officially been eliminated from playoff contention, but with the team dropping eight of its last 10 games, Van Gundy seems to be waving the white flag on the season, as Marjanovic and rookie Henry Ellenson -- both of whom have been out of the rotation for much of the campaign -- will be in store for sizable workloads Friday. Marjanovic's elevated role off the bench could result in a few less minutes for starting center Andre Drummond, but it figures to have a more negative impact on Aron Baynes, who could be ousted from the rotation. With Baynes bound for free agency this summer and not expected to be retained, it's likely that Marjanovic will work as the team's primary backup center in 2017-18.
Marjanovic supplied six points (1-2 FG, 4-5 FT), five rebounds and one assist across 11 minutes in a 115-98 loss to the Pacers on Wednesday. As has often been the case in his two seasons in the league, Marjanovic shined for a statistical standpoint while getting some run in garbage time, but he may actually have an opportunity to play more meaningful minutes Thursday against the Cavaliers. The Pistons announced after Wednesday's loss that Aron Baynes suffered a sprained ankle in the contest and would be questionable for the second half of the back-to-back set, potentially paving the way for Marjanovic to serve as the top backup to starting center Andre Drummond.
Last 7 Games
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