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Boban joins Bill Laimbeer in the NBA history books

Detroit’s little-used giant breaks out big in short minutes, joining historic company

NBA: Detroit Pistons at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, it was Boban Time.

This wasn’t garbage time playing with and against scrubs in a game already decided. Tonight, the Pistons’ little-used 7-foot-4 giant got major minutes, and he made the most of them in Detroit’s 115-114 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.

Boban Marjanovic played a season-high 22 minutes thanks to an Aron Baynes injury (ankle) and Andre Drummond foul trouble. In those minutes some amazing, Boban things happened.

As Stan Van Gundy said after the game, “you can’t prepare for 7-foot-4.”

Marjanovic notched a double double, and it took him less than 10 minutes to do so. By the end of the night, Marjanovic had 15 points despite taking only four shots. Boban was 9-of-11 from the line and finished with 19 rebounds including nine offensive boards.

His prolific work on the boards put Marjanovic in some elite company in NBA history. Boban’s 19 rebounds in 22 minutes were the second-most boards in 22 or less minutes ever.

The only player to grab more? Detroit’s own Bill Laimbeer on Jan. 2 1985 against the Cavaliers. Laimbeer grabbed 21 rebounds in just 21 minutes. Boban is now tied for second along with Hall-of-Famer Robert Parrish and ahead of Omer Asik, Tyson Chandler and Dennis Rodman.

For Boban it was a career high in free-throw attempts and rebounds while playing more minutes than four games last year as a rookie with the San Antonio Spurs. He was also a team-high +12 on the floor and, most importantly, looked like he belonged on the court.

While he had looked stuck in molasses in his few garbage time stints, he was moving well and playing solid defense against the Hornets. He also had an absolutely sick pass late in the game -- a no-look toss while he was posted up to a cutting teammate. I’ll post it as soon as i can find it.

It’s unclear when Baynes will return to the lineup, but Van Gundy might be looking to try and find more time for his Serbian big man.