Bojan Bogdanovic is in line for a much bigger role after the Glenn Robinson III injury. How will he fare?
Paul George — with Danny Granger before him — was the Indiana Pacers dominating wing players over the last decade. Now, with a new era of Pacers basketball beginning, that role belongs to a new man: Bojan Bogdanovic.
These comparisons are of course unfair, but with a recent injury to Glenn Robinson III, Bojan will have a chance to shine. Before the injury, Bojan looked like he would play approximately 24 to 26 minutes per game. Now, he will have to play 30 to 35 minutes to keep the team competitive, and he will have a great chance to put up counting stats.
That increase in playing time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In his two highest minutes season, he averaged 15.1 and 19.2 points per 36 minutes, respectively. If he can get close to that number and plays almost 36 minutes per game, he could be quite the scorer for Indiana.
Pulling stats predictions from thin air
Role: Shooter and Floor Spacer
The Nets shot over five percent better in the paint when Bogdanovic was on the court. Bogdanovic was a huge factor in this.
His 37 percent career shooting from deep forced a defender to stay glued to him beyond the arc and gives other players more room to work in the paint. This will be very useful for restricted area mavens Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo.
Bogdanovic will shoot 38 percent from three-point range.
Bogdanovic shot 39.1 percent from deep with the Wizards. With 4.4 attempts per game, that is basically six points every game. If he can keep up 39 percent shooting from deep with Indiana, he will likely be the most efficient scorer on the team.
Bogdanovic will have a defensive box plus-minus of -2.5 or worse.
Bogdanovic has a career Defensive Box Plus-Minus of -2.6. For all the praises about his shooting and offense, he is equally awful on defense. With Washington, this led him to have an even net rating, proof that his offense is as good as his defense is bad. However, he really needs to improve on the less glamorous end of the floor. With the Pacers defense already being less than stellar, I am skeptical this can happen.
Bojan’s Season Summed up in One Bojack GIF
If you follow the Indiana Pacers, you need a sense of humor. Laugh so you don’t cry. And what’s funnier than Bojack Horseman? Nothing. Nothing is the answer.
Bojan throwing up his money 3-point shot.
Sweatin’ Bullets is an 8p9s tradition started by Jonny Auping in which we offer standalone facts, observations, and commentary, often devoid of context or fairness.
- Bojan has averaged exactly 0.4 steals per game each season of his career. A majority of his steals are random chance and less him making a great play, so the fact he is so consistent is very interesting.
- He hit eight 3-pointers in a game against the Magic last season. EIGHT!! That kind of unfathomable shooting can completely change a game, and in this game it did; Bogdanovic was a +5 in a one-point win.
- Bojan Bogdanovic shot 48.1 percent from the right corner 3, good for eighth in the league from that distance for all players with 50 or more attempts. (more fun Pacers related notes: if you change the parameter to 30 or more attempts, Darren Collison was first in the league!) If Bogey gets the ball in the right corner, just start getting back on defense, it’s going in.
One Key Question
Can Bogdanovic keep up his career production in more minutes than he has ever played?
The Situation: For all the praises about Bogdanovic, he has never played more than 26.7 minutes per game in a season. That could be due to conditioning and it could be due to his role on other teams. Can his high level of offensive production maintain in an expanded role?
More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds
- 2 Studs, 1 dud from gut-wrenching Indiana Pacers loss to Charlotte Hornets
- Handing out early-season grades for Pacers’ Bruce Brown, Obi Toppin
- 3 positives, 2 negatives in Pacers In-Season Tournament win vs. Cavaliers
- 2 positives, 3 negatives from first week of Indiana Pacers basketball
- Should Isaiah Jackson’s days with Indiana Pacers be numbered?
Best-case Scenario: He can continue to contribute with his high level of shooting and offensive contributions over more minutes. His points, rebounds, and assists all improve by a percentage proportional to, or better, his percent increase in minutes.
Worst-case Scenario: His contributions fall off once he hits 30 minutes, and the Pacers are forced to play many reserve minutes. There is evidence to suggest this will happen. Last season, Bogdanovic was a -16 in games where he played 20 minutes or more. He shot 32.3 percent from deep in those games, a significant drop from his overall percentage. This suggests he plays better in limited minutes, which could cause problems for the Pacers rotation.
Prediction: He falls somewhere in between the two. He will be forced to play an expanded role, but his shooting will be just fine over the course of a whole season. However, his defense will likely take a hit from its already embarrassing level if he plays more minutes, so that leaves a cause for concern.
I love Bojan Bogdanovic. I think his shooting can really help this offense click, and I think his floor spacing will allow Turner and Oladio to do whatever they want with the ball.
Hopefully, it all comes to fruition with Bojan on the floor.