Mason Plumlee quickly became a key cog for the Nets run for the playoffs. Plumlee's athleticism and high basketball IQ pushed him up the team's depth chart and eventually to Brooklyn's starting center while Kevin Garnett dealt with back issues. When Plumlee started, the Nets were 16-6.
Despite seeing an influx in minutes after the All Star break --he saw on average nearly seven more minutes-- Plumlee remained one of the most efficient players in all of basketball.
Brian Schroeder of Hardwood Paroxysm conducted a study looking for players who had an offensive rating of at least 120 (that means 120 points per 100 possessions) while playing more than 1,000 minutes. This is the second year Schroeder is profiling these players, and, coincidentally, each year has 12 players qualifying. One of the 12 is Mason Plumlee.
Perhaps the most surprising member of this list, the Middle Plumlee is, like Prigioni, probably a guy who can’t replicate this level of efficiency in heavy minutes. That being said, he represents part of a growing trend in the NBA: athletic centers who adapt to the NBA game much better than they did the NCAA. Mason’s brother Miles, Steven Adams, and Andre Drummond would all fall into this group, with more surely to come. That being said, Plumlee is perhaps the most interesting guy here, as he took only nine shots outside of the paint all season, connecting on none of them. With an 81% assisted rate ranking him as the most specialized guy here, Plumlee will have to greatly expand his game to become even what his brother is in Phoenix, but the building blocks are there, and in a rookie class likely to go down as one of the worst in NBA history, at least the concept of something
As Schroeder notes, Plumlee only took nine shots out of the paint last season, which is pretty crazy for a player as talented as him, but there's no denying the talent there. Per 36 minutes, the rookie averaged just nearly 15 points and eight rebounds. With no Andray Blatche and Kevin Garnett possibly facing another decrease in minutes, Plumlee will see more minutes in year two. Many will watch to see if he continues to improve. Plumlee may also make the transition down to power forward next season, which will likely lead to more jump shots, which can bring down his efficiency.
The other 11 players on the list are Brandan Wright, Chris Andersen, Robin Lopez, Pablo Prigioni, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond, Jose Calderon, Tyson Chandler.
All good news for Mason Plumlee as of late.
- The 2013-2014 Dirty Dozen: Twelve of the Best Offensive Players in the NBA - Brian Schroeder - Hardwood Paroxysm