When the season first started Mason Plumlee was drowning on the Brooklyn Nets depth chart. It’s funny how time and injuries changes the perception of a player. Jason Kidd had no plans to play the young power forward any major minutes this season, and why should he?
With a roster that included Kevin Garnett, Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche and Brook Lopez there was no room for the high flying, hustle hard, high energy Plumlee. The fact he went to Duke only adds salt to the wound as we know how their NBA player track record is. But when Lopez went down with his season ending injury and Evans somehow fell out of the rotation that changed everything for the Nets, Kidd’s rotation and the importance of Plumlee.
With Garnett playing only 22 minutes a game and Pierce getting up in age, the door was wide open for a reserve to stake claim to major reserve minutes. Plumlee didn’t just walk through the door; he broke the hinges off and hasn’t looked back since. In his last two games he has scored 35 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in only 57 minutes. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you gain the trust of your coach and teammates.
He runs the floor well for a big man and always has his head up looking for a lob pass to throw down one of his vicious, rim-rattling dunks we all love so much. The season may be halfway over for the Nets, but it has just begun for their new rising star.