Boban Marjanovic has done a great job filling in for Joel Embiid since the NBA All-Star break, but late in Monday’s game, there was cause for concern. The Philadelphia 76ers big man who was acquired via trade got tangled up while going after a loose ball and was down on the ground in obvious pain after the play.
When looking at the replay, you can see Marjanovic’s knee get rolled up on and the Sixers center go down awkwardly during the action. Shortly after, he was helped off the floor, as Drew Corrigan of House of Highlights showed.
Originally it was tough to tell exactly what happened, but there’s no question his leg got caught and turned awkwardly at the end of the play. Marjanovic has played decent minutes since coming over with Tobias Harris and Mike Scott prior to the trade deadline. When Embiid was ruled out for a week due to knee soreness, the 7-foot-3 big man was immediately thrust into a larger role.
Boban Marjanovic’s Impressive Play for Sixers Without Embiid
Embiid has now missed three games, including Monday’s 111-110 win over the Pelicans, and Marjanovic logged 27, 19 and 20 minutes in that stretch. Two of the three games featured the 30-year-old picking up a double-double, the first being a 19-point, 12-rebound showing against the Miami Heat last Thursday.
Marjanovic struggled a bit against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second game, but bounced back nicely to logo 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks against New Orleans. He’s shot 14-of-20 from the field during this recent span and 7-of-12 from the free throw line.
Even with Embiid in the lineup, Marjanovic has played well, and of the four games he was on the roster for prior to the All-Star break, he hit double-digit points twice. He’s been consistent knocking down shots, missing just 11 of the 38 he’s taken in seven games as a member of the Sixers.
Sixers’ Playoff Outlook After Win Over Pelicans
With Monday’s win, the Sixers are very much within striking distance of the current No. 3 seed Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings. The Pacers hold a 40-21 record while Philly is just one game back at 39-22. In front of both teams currently sit the Toronto Raptors, who have a five-game edge on the Sixers, and the Milwaukee Bucks who are 7.5 games up on them.
The top-five teams in the East have a big edge on the rest of the conference at this point. Currently, the Boston Celtics are the No. 5 seed at 37-23, but hold a six-game advantage on the sixth-seed Brooklyn Nets (32-30). It seems likely that the top-five teams will be battling for playoff position with each other, while the rest of the East will push for the final three spots.