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Mason Plumlee on Eastern Conference 'Breakout Team'

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone knows by now—Mason Plumlee is poised for a breakout campaign with the Brooklyn Nets this season. Plumlee's astronomical leap after the All Star break has been mentioned a lot, as he became the team' starting center during Kevin Garnett's absence, putting up a 16-6 record in those games. Not to mention how he surprised everyone by making Team USA in August, then winning a gold medal.

Yet another pundit is hammering home the point as the preseason gets underway, Shlomo Sprung of Sheridan Hoops.

Based on Plumlee’s stint with Team USA this summer in the FIBA World Cup, it’s hard to believe he played just 18.2 minutes per game last season. He was mismanaged by Kidd and rode the bench for too long that season. If he gets more playing time under new coach Lionel Hollins, look for Plumlee to not only excel in Brooklyn but become a borderline All-Star in the process.

Plumlee hit a sensational 65.9 percent of his shots and averaged 4.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 steals in just over 18 minutes. His PER (19), true shooting percentage (.670), offensive rating (121), net rating (plus-17) and win shares per 48 minutes (.176) were off the charts.

What’s even more encouraging is how Plumlee excelled past the All-Star break, when injuries mounted and he started most of the games he played. Take a look at his improvement.

Sprung has stats to further prove his rationale. Here is the table he used in his piece.

Plumlee Starts MPG FG% PPG RPG BPG ORate DRate NetRate
Before Break 1 15.6 63.2 6.2 3.3 0.76 118 107 11
After Break 21 22 68.4 9.1 6 0.83 121 106 15

It is clear that with an expanded role after the All Star break, Plumlee thrived. With the Nets in need of insurance in the frontcourt, Kevin Garnett is a 20-year veteran and Brook Lopez does have his foot issues, Plumlee is as reliable as it gets, if last season was any indication.

Plumlee joins Giannas Anteokounmpo, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jimmy Butler, and John Henson on the "breakout team"