Why the Los Angeles Clippers aren’t playing Boban Marjanovic more

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 30: Boban Marjanovic
PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 30: Boban Marjanovic /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 10: Boban Marjanovic
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 10: Boban Marjanovic /

Defensive Deficiencies

Go back to the last slide and read the FiveThirtyEight article. I implore you. Boban’s inability to move laterally kills his defensive ability. His massive wingspan does allow him to defend the rim, but as soon as he is matched up against a capable shooting big man or switched onto a guard, everything falls apart.

For everything Marjanovic is, quick isn’t one of them. Guards can get around his wingspan by blowing past him or creating separation on the shot. Shooting big men can also find success when hitting shots on a pick-and-pop.

When he first came to the San Antonio Spurs, this was apparent. Boban can’t consistently defend outside of the paint. Let’s look back at his game in Denver, which was by far his best game of the season.

Watch that video. It doesn’t show any defensive plays, but I want you to pay attention to who was on the court. During the whole Boban mania, the Nuggets either had Nikola Jokic or Mason Plumlee on the court. Neither player can do much outside of the paint, which allowed Boban to stay in as long as he did with out being a detriment to the team on defense.