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As he continues to hit shots, Mason Plumlee continues in rookie top 10

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Here's a great stat. Mason Plumlee is shooting 85.7 percent from the floor ... and the foul line this month. The first is quite impressive, the second is stunning.

At Duke, Plumlee shot 58.3 percent over four years, rising to 68.1 percent his senior year. Earlier this season, he was a liability at the line, hitting only 42.1 percent of his free throws through the first seven games of his NBA career. Since then, he's taken off.  After the dreadful start, he's shot 72.1 percent and  made nine straight over four games.

Overall, the No. 22 pick is shooting 70.7 percent from the floor and is up to 62.9 percent at the line. The first leads all rookies. He's second in player efficiency among rookies as well.

His shooting is one reason why he's in the Rookie Top Ten as ranked by David Thorpe of ESPN, who has him at No. 2 and Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops and just outside the list that Drew Packham composes for NBA.com

Thorpe writes of Plumlee's long term prospects: "He doesn't project to be a star, or perhaps even a starter, but he can be a solid role player who has to to be guarded, and that counts for something, particularly in a weak draft class."

Meanwhile, Bernucca offers a comparison that's more likely to produce grimaces than smiles: "Player A is averaging 6.7 points on 37 percent shooting with 7.6 rebounds in 22.8 minutes. Player B is averaging 6.6 points on 69 percent shooting with 3.1 rebounds in 17.2 minutes. Player A is Kevin Garnett. Player B is the kid to the left (Plumlee).."