Josh Newman, Field ReporterORLANDO – If you only get one chance to make a first impression, Mason Plumlee made the most of his in his Nets debut on Monday evening.
With 6:08 to play in the opening quarter of the Nets’ Orlando Summer League opener on Monday evening against the Detroit Pistons, the 22nd overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft hauled in a defensive rebound and instead of giving it up to a guard, brought the ball up court.
Plumlee spun with the ball just outside the paint, took two steps and threw down a vicious two-handed dunk over Pistons rookie guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Upon landing, Plumlee emphatically yelled out, ‘Come get some.”
The Duke product has been lauded throughout his college career and his early days as a Net for his superior athleticism on both ends of the ball not to mention a motor that doesn’t seem to tire. As far as first impressions go, Plumlee showed off all of those attributes in one fell swoop.
“I had to get my first two points somewhere,” Plumlee said jokingly after the Nets’ 76-67 loss. “The first one (a layup attempt earlier in the quarter), I jack-knifed it and missed a layup so I was like, ‘Alright, we’re just going straight for the rim this time’ and it worked.”
Plumlee’s effort as a whole should leave people encouraged as he finished with 10 point and 14 rebounds, but also finished with five turnovers. Much of that was accomplished against Andre Drummond, one of the more promising young big men in the league.
“I know it’s not official for league-play, but still, you want to make a good first impression,” Plumlee said. “All the Nets fans, I’m sure they’re critiquing at home saying, ‘What’d we pick, what’d we pick,’ so I wanted to make a good impression.
After tough first half, Taylor regroups
Tyshawn Taylor stated last week during summer league practices that this two-week stretch of summer league activity is crucial towards giving the coaches something to think about with the backup point guard spot up for grabs. With that, Taylor had a forgettable first half.
The second-year pro got by Peyton Siva and Korie Lucious at will, but had trouble finishing in the lane on his way to 1-for-8 shooting and three turnovers in the first half.
After halftime was a bit of a different story as Taylor settled in, shooting 3-for-5 from the field in the third quarter and 5-for-10 in the second half with three more turnovers.
The second half was better, but the entirety was not good enough in Taylor’s eyes.
“I feel like I could have done a lot better in different aspects,” Taylor said. “I think I could’ve finished better at the rim for sure, shots weren’t falling for me, easy shots, layups, shots that I can make. I think I could’ve gotten my teammates involved a little bit more. I think that’s the biggest thing for me, getting my teammates involved. I could have done a way better job at that.”
Taylor now knows who he will have to compete with for the right to back up Deron Williams as the Nets reportedly came to terms with Shaun Livingston on a one-year, veteran’s minimum contract on Saturday evening.
Drummond registers remarkable stat line
Drummond is one of the more mercurial big men in the NBA and his production on Monday was further proof.
In 25 minutes, the 6-foot-11l. 280-pound University of Connecticut product put up 12 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks and five steals. He also shot 5-for-14 from the field and 2-for-9 from the foul line while registering six personal fouls and seven turnovers. It takes 1o personal fouls to foul out at Orlando Summer League, not six like during the regular season.
In an effort to get back in the game late, the Nets even resorted to hacking Drummond to send him to the line. A notoriously poor free throw shooter, Drummond shot 37.1 percent from the line last season.
“It’s part of the game, I wanted to see how we handled the situation,” Nets rookie head coach Jason Kidd said. “This is summer league, so you have to put guys in different situations and it was a ball game. We got back into the game. We can blame it one way play or another, but we’ve gotta take care of the ball. We had only 10 assists to 22 turnovers.”
After the Golden State Warriors acted as the NBA’s guinea pigs for adidas’ adizero NBA Uniform System back in February, the much-maligned short-sleeve jerseys were worn on Monday in Orlando by five of the 10 teams, including the Nets.
The Nets’ white jerseys with black lettering on the front and back are 26 percent lighter, are made from 60 percent recycled materials, and do not restrict range of motion according to adidas.
Despite adidas’ stated benefits, the jerseys were mocked on social media sites back in February when the Warriors wore them and the same held true on Monday throughout the day when all five games were aired nationally on NBA TV.
ESPN reported last month that five NBA teams will wear the short-sleeved jerseys at some point during the 2013-14 regular season, but the five teams have not been announced yet.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA