Brian ErniMason Plumlee is just three games into his NBA career, but he’s grading out well thus far:
Plumlee has averaged only 13 minutes per in the fourgames he has appeared in, but he has made an impact in his limited time with 4.0 points per game. Plumlee has used his size and his quickness to establish himself in the paint, and it’s shown up on the scoring sheet. His offensive rating is 105, which suggests that he’s a viable second unit offensive player already. Plus, he has been a force in the transition game, noticeable during his highlight reel alley-oop slam. He’s also been effective on the offensive glass, with six offensive boards, two of which game in a hard fought game against the Pacers.
So far, Plumlee hasn’t been the defensive presence the Nets hope he’ll eventually develop into. Currently, he has a 110 defensive rating and is a combined -47 in the three Nets losses he has been a part of (-21 vs. Orlando, -5 vs. Indiana. -21 vs/ Sacramento). Just two of his first seven rebounds were on the defensive glass, which has led to a 6.2% defensive rebound percentage. That implies that Plumlee could do a better job establishing position on the defensive side of the ball, something that his high center of gravity may prevent him from doing effectively against more physical centers and bigger forwards. That said, his lateral quickness and long reach should help him work his way into the passing lanes, so while it hasn’t been great, there’s a chance we’ll see improvement.
The instincts are there, which means Plumlee is learning on the job very nicely. That’s not an easy thing to do on a club with championship aspirations. But with 17 , 15, and 17 minutes respectively in three of the Nets last four games, Plumlee may be playing himself into a bigger role. The Livingston half court alley-oop shows how explosive of a finisher he can be, and there is still plenty left to do with him on the pick-and-roll, an aspect Plumlee excelled in at Duke. The basketball mind is there, and that’s good, because it can be the hardest thing to teach.