Series Tied 1-1

Boban: 13 points, 9 rebounds, 9 minutes, 43 seconds.

Jim Rome
August 20, 2020 - 9:18 am
Boban Marjanovic

USA Today

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Yesterday, I asked Laker fans how they were doing after their game 1 loss to Portland. Now I’ve got a similar question: hey Clipper fans, how are you doing?

To quote my guy, Jason Whitlock, I know y’all were cackling and rolling a blunt as the Lakers took an L on Tuesday night. You were up 1-0 in your series, the Lakers were down 0-1, and you were feeling it. You were like those Clipper bros back in the day.

And then came Game 2 and your guys did not turn up and they were not awesome. They got hammered by the Dallas Mavericks. 

I know Patrick Beverley wasn’t there. And I know how much Patrick Beverley means. Believe me. This is a huge Patrick Beverley house. He is awesome. No one respects Patrick Beverley more than this guy.

But he missed the game with a left calf strain.  And then all of his teammates who DID play in the game, missed it as well.  Collectively, they didn’t do much more on the floor than he did on the bench.  In fact, I could argue Beverly actually did more to help his team, in his streets on the bench than his teammates on the floor did.  That’s how flat the clippers were last night. 

Again, no one needs to tell me how good Pat Bev is, but if the Clippers are who we think they are, they just fall apart when he can’t go.  But they do. This season, when Beverley plays, they win 75% of the time. When he doesn’t, they’re a .500 team. With him, they’re a title contender, without him, a straight pretender. With him, maybe the team to beat overall; without him maybe an 8. Or worse. How the hell is that even possible?

You have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, two of the most elite players in the league but they can lose to just about anyone at any time, when Beverly sits???

One of the huge strengths of the Clippers, aside from the fact that they have not one, but two MVP candidates in their lineup is their depth. They can beat you in so many ways. And yet last night, without Beverley, they couldn’t beat anyone.

That says a ton about Pat, but it also says something about the other guys.  That they fall part with pat doesn’t play.  And that’s a real problem. 

Having got that out of the way, this is not all on the Clippers. It wasn’t just that the Clippers no-showed, it was that the Dallas Mavericks showed out They were pissed about the Kristaps ejection in Game 1, a game they might have won with him. And they came out on a mission last night.

KP brought it.

And later you had Kristaps from damn near Lillard range.

And of course Luka was Luka. He had 42 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds in Game 1, but he wasn’t happy about the performance at all because it included 11 turnovers. 

Last night? 28 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, and 1 turnover. And moments like this.

The guy is a star, an absolute flat-out star. 70 points, 16 assists, 15 rebounds in his first career playoff games and he’s doing it against a team loaded with great defenders. He was absolutely carving them up. 

And yes, I know Clipper fans, Patrick Beverley wasn’t there, but you know who else wasn’t playing? Luka for a long stretch to start the fourth quarter. He was on the bench with foul trouble and the Clippers still couldn’t get over. The clippers barely function without Beverly, but the Mavs curb stomped the clippers without Luka for long stretches: another ominous sign for clip nation.

The Clippers jumped out to that 18-2 lead in the first 3 and a half minutes of Game 1. Ever since then, the Mavs have completely outplayed them with and without Kristaps. And now the Clippers are in a STREET FIGHT. AND THEY KNOW IT. Dallas knew how tough they were, but obviously they Clippers didn’t. 

But as much as last night was about Luka, and KP, and Tim Hardaway Jr, and Seth Curry, and Trey Burke, let’s be real, last night was about one man and one man only.  

I’m talking ‘bout Bo-bahn. 

Boban… 

And BOBAN!!!! 

Freaking legend. He might be the nicest guy on the planet, but you do not want to be attempting to defend him in the paint when he gets a good seal. Lou Williams was nearly crushed on a switch. Montrez Harrell disappeared from view. 

Just so we’re clear: Harrell is listed at 240 pounds. He’s a larger man. And you could not see him when Boban got in front of him. 

Check this stat line from Boban: 13 points, 9 rebounds, 9 minutes, 43 seconds.

That’s right. My guy played less than 10 minutes, but he dominated that game. According to the Mavs PR twitter account: Marjanović is now the first player in NBA history to record 10+ points and 7+ rebounds in 10-or-fewer mins of a playoff game.

He’s like a giant Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson. Instant offense, instant rebounding, and instant awesome. 

And then he killed the postgame interview with Ernie and the crew, including embracing Shaq’s Addams Family nickname for him.

What a legend. He drops the Lurch “you rang” and then he doesn’t go heart hands, he goes heart arms, and then thanks TNT for choosing to do the interview with him instead of Luka. 

I could do an entire show on Boban. This guy is special. If you have a problem with him, you have a problem with yourself and you need to get that checked out. Because he is 7 feet 4 inches of joy. You saw that last night when Marcus Morris was mic’d up and standing next to him.

Morris calling Boban “the nicest guy I ever met” in the middle of a playoff game tells you everything you need to know about Boban.

Of course, there’s more. Last month, The Athletic did a piece where they spoke to Boban’s teammates and coaches from over the years with plenty of details about his love of ginger ale and emoji’s, his dislike of airplanes, and his distrust of Ubers. Here are a few gems:

Anthony Tolliver, a teammate in Detroit: Literally the nicest human being I’ve ever met.

Mark Cuban: The one thing that was the most shocking about Boban was the first time I saw him take off his shirt. He is ripped.

Rick Carlisle: We (have) to kick Boban out of the gym. Literally almost every day, he would overdo it almost every day.

Mavs teammate Dwight Powell: He has more skills than I think people realize: ball-handling skills, shooting touch, feel for the game, (being) able to find guys.

Pistons assistant coach Aaron Gray: Man, I cried when that dude got traded. He just changes you, man. He really does.

That’s the truth. We all need a little Boban right now. Correction, we need a lot of Boban. And we got all of it last night. And I still want more. And I need more. Generally, nice guys finish last: they do.  But if the Clippers don’t get right, immediately, the nicest guy and his teammates are going to send the clips home; and no outside of outside of the Mavs locker room saw that coming.