The guy who shined last night in the NBA was Boban Marjanovic. The Serb played the game of his life annihilating the Denver Nuggets, and also trashing his compatriot Nikola Jokic.
Unfortunately, due to the entire situation with Coronavirus and the suspension of the NBA activities, Boban’s achievement went unnoticed. And we need to say that it is a bit unfair. The Mavs’ center had 31 points and 17 rebounds as a starter in 31 minutes. Bobi also added 17 boards, nine of them offensive, and two steals, while shooting 12-for-20 from the field and missing just one free-throw. Without a doubt, he was the ultimate star of this event. But then again, the whole situation regarding the Coronavirus somehow diminished his performance.
“We came to play even though we are missing a couple of players. I think we played a great game in the end like the score shows,” said the Mavs’ big fella.
His Dallas was without Kristaps Porzingis, Seth Curry, and Dorian Finney-Smith. Meanwhile, they had to win in order to keep the race for the fourth seed in the West, currently held by the Utah Jazz. Even though they lacked a few important pieces in their roster, the Mavs were under the pressure of winning against one of the best teams in the league.
And they succeeded in doing the same, mostly because of Marjanovic, who completely stopped his good friend Nikola Jokic.
“He is the best big guy in the NBA,” said Marjanovic of Jokic. “He’s a very good friend … It’s nice to see him every time.”
We can say that the Joker wasn’t feeling very happy after the match to see Marjanovic. Bobi held the All-NBA First Team center to just 14 points and 13 boards, and 8 assists, preventing him from having a usual role in the attack. Jokic did have a good shooting percentage, 7-for-10 but the volume of shots he had was way below the ordinary.
The Mavs were on a downhill before the game, posting two losses in a row, against the Pacers and the Spurs, which saw them slipping all the way to No.7 in the West. Apart from staying in the hunt for the home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the Mavs needed to beat Denver to boost the morale and to prevent from going deeper into the crisis.
“I think we played great, like a team tonight,” said Marjanovic. “It was important because Denver is a great team, and they played amazing. They are one of the top three teams. It’s hard to beat them when they play on the road.”
As for Boban, he averages 6.3 points and 4.1 boards in 9.1 minutes on the court per night. If it weren’t for the current Coronavirus situation, the Serb would no doubt get a much bigger role in the upcoming few matches. Right now, things look hazy for both Bobi and the entire league, as nobody can predict what might happen.
Mavs were to play against the Suns on the road and then to have three straight games at home, against the Rockets and the Jazz. These two events should be crucial for Boban and his teammates because they are against the teams who are the direct opponents for better places in the standings.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.