Philadelphia 76ers: A serious Boban Marjanovic injury would be disastrous

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

If Boban Marjanovic’s fourth-quarter knee injury ends up being serious, it could throw a wrench into the Philadelphia 76ers’ playoff hopes.

While the Philadelphia 76ers did earn a much-needed bounce-back win on Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans following a brutal loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on their home court, it came at a pretty substantial cost: the health of Boban Marjanovic.

That’s right, in the team’s third straight game without Joel Embiid on the court, a game that saw a rare start by Jonah Bolden in an attempt to neutralize Anthony Davis, Philadelphia’s new favorite adoptive son went down with a pretty brutal knee injury in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.

It looked bad.

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Now granted, we don’t know just how bad Majanovic’s injury is, be it a bruise, a hyper-extended knee, or god forbid a torn ACL, as he won’t undergo further testing until later today (per Serena Winters), but as things presently stand, the Sixers could be looking at a center rotation of Bolden, Amir Johnson and maybe Justin Patton when they take the court on Thursday evening against Steven Adams, Nerlens Noel, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That would be bad.

However, losing Marjanovic for the season would be a whole lot worse.

In only seven games with the Sixers, Boban has added a facit to the team that has been desperately missing for the better part of three years; a reliable center to back up Embiid full-time.

Sure, Marjanovic can’t be reliably counted on to play starter minutes due to his size, conditioning, and age (he’s a 30-year-old junior), but he’s been a dominant bully in the paint when his number is called and has helped to beat up opposing centers when Embiid is on the bench.

And through it all, he’s (unsurprisingly) become a bit of a folk hero in the process.

From his near constant antics with Tobias Harris, his best friend both on and off the court, to his recent appearance at the Flyers‘ recent interstate showdown against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field, Boban is almost like the Sixers answer to Gritty, a mountain of a man with serious star potential.

Oh yeah, and he’s really good at basketball too.

If Marjanovic were to miss considerable time, or even the rest of the season, it would be disastrous for the 76ers center rotation once they return to full strength, and would all but guarantee losses whenever Embiid can’t take the court.

If this team is truly built for the playoffs as everyone has hypothesized, Boban should be considered one of, if not the most important reserve piece to that formula working long-term (with respect to T.J. McConnell).

Losing Marjanovic would also all but guarantee a that Embiid’s finally managed workload would return to its pre-injury form, when he was averaging upwards of 38 minutes of action a night, even against less than formidable opponents. That’s just how vital Boban is to the 76ers current formula; he’s both an adequate reliever for Embiid when he’s out, and a perfect complement when he’s available, giving the 76ers the best center tandem in the East, and maybe the league.

Ben Simmons took another 3-pointer against the Pelicans. dark. Next

So Boban, if you are reading this, get well soon my friend, the City of Brotherly Love needs you bad.