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Mason "Breakout" Plumlee

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Sometimes, we think Mason Plumlee's middle name is Breakout.  It's a word that's increasingly used to describe what pundits think is going to happen this season: He will "break out."

Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York and Shlomo Sprung of Sheridan Hoops both used the word to describe him in the last few days.  Mazzeo wrote about him in answering ESPN's latest burning question: "Who needs to break out?"  He answered Plumlee and noted...

With Andray Blatche gone, Plumlee's rapid development becomes key. He should see plenty of minutes from Lionel Hollins, given the health of Garnett and Lopez, and could see his share of starts when one of the other big men needs a night off to rest. The Nets will be looking for one more big man in camp to step up and earn some minutes. Plumlee will have plenty of opportunities

Sprung put together a team of Eastern Conference players, no rookies, "who will take the next step towards greatness this upcoming season."  He has Plumlee at center and writes...

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.

Sprung also points out how Plumlee rose to the challenge after the All-Star break.

Ben Dowsett of Hardwood Paroxysm doesn't use the word "break out" in his analysis of the Nets front court, but thinks Plumlee is "underrated."

Plumlee shot 64.5 percent as the roll man last season, per Synergy, and was among the league’s most efficient players in such sets. His lateral quickness is also a complement to the more plodding Lopez defensively, and though Plumlee still has plenty of work to do on the nuances of NBA defense, his raw physical profile allowed him to be above average against the pick-and-roll as well as post sets. As Plumlee makes the expected improvements for younger players, particularly under a talented defensive coach like Hollins, he and Lopez could prove a surprisingly effective duo on both ends of the court.

Of course, Plumlee will have to add some things to his game, like a jump shot. He hasn't made one in two years, not in his senior year at Duke, not in his rookie year in Brooklyn.  Of course, he wasn't asked to do much in those systems.  He might be this season.  We shall see if he can break out there.