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As minutes drop, so does Mason Plumlee in rookie rankings

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Mason Plumlee's minutes have dropped in recent weeks, so has his rookie rank. After averaging a little less than 18 minutes a game in November, he's dropped to 14 this month. He's still ranked No. 5 in ESPN's rankings but has disappeared from the top 10 in the Sheridan Hoops and NBA.com listings.

Most of Plumlee's minutes have been taken by Reggie Evans as Jason Kidd tries to make up for the loss of Brook Lopez and scatter minutes among his bigs.  In his last five games, Plumlee has played an average of 12 minutes in four with a DNP-CD in the other, the loss to the Wizards.  In his last two games, he's dropped to a little more than nine while Evans has averaged 20. Of course with Andray Blatche out for "personal reasons," both can expect more minutes,

David Thorpe still has Plumlee at No. 5, where he ranks in player efficiency as well.  Thorpe writes positively about the 7-footer on ESPN Insider...

To build a career, it is wise to begin with a strong foundation. It is something that guys such as Thomas Robinson struggled to do during their rookie seasons; they tried to do too much rather than excel at something they were capable of accomplishing, then building out from there.

Plumlee has done well in this regard, consistently making plays next to the rim while playing well within his skill set. While it has been a disastrous season for the Nets, Plumlee's strong play in a limited role at least helps them know what they have in place going forward. He's proving to be a rotation big man, at the very least, with upside that is considerable.

Plumlee who grew up two hours north of Indianapolis can be expected to have a lot of family members on hand Saturday night for the Pacers game.