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Stan Van Gundy willing to give Boban Marjanovic more minutes

Boban Marjanovic

After a successful 2015-16 NBA season with the San Antonio Spurs, Boban Marjanovic signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. While the 7’3″ center was expected to be Andre Drummond’s backup, he played limited minutes in just 35 games for head coach Stan Van Gundy.

Heading into the new season, Van Gundy is determined to give his backup center more minutes according to Keith Langlois of Pistons:

“I don’t want to be in situations where I’m making an immediate response to a team going small and I just reflexively take him out of the game,” Van Gundy said. “That no matter what we’re doing defensively, that we give him a chance.”

With today’s small ball era, the head coach is trying to find the best way to utilize Marjanovic’s size and scoring abilities:

“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that,” Van Gundy said. “It may be different really late in games where you’re up six with two minutes to go. We may want to have better coverage on threes. But over the course of the game, (make decisions) where it’s not a reflex or a guy comes in and hits one three, a five man, and you’re like, ‘We’ve got to get him out.’

In two seasons, Marjanovic has shown a nice shooting touch for his size but will need to improve defensively. As Aron Baynes signed with the Boston Celtics in free agency, the third-year center and Jon Leuer are expected to form a ‘two-headed monster’ behind Drummond this upcoming season.

For the Pistons, they are looking to get back on track after failing to make the playoffs. With a motivated Drummond and some changes to the team’s starting lineup, there is an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference.