Is Mason Plumlee Overrated?


After an impressive rookie season, Mason Plumlee has struggled to carry that success into his sophomore season in the NBA. Plumlee was expected to only improve even more after playing for Team USA in the Fiba World Cup this summer, but being among some of the best players that the league has to offer for most of the offseason hasn’t helped Plumlee’s game thus far. In his rookie season, Plumlee averaged 7.4 points per game, while shooting 66% from the field in a little over 18 minutes per game.

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Although the shooting percentage was impressive, basically all of Plumlee’s points came off of dunks and the seven-footer did not score a single point outside of the paint last year. Plumlee worked on some post moves during the offseason, but he has yet to show an ability to finish those moves on a consistent basis this season. Plumlee is a high flyer who often times gets fouled by the opposition because they simply don’t want to get dunked on. That’s a good thing that Plumlee gets to the line, but there is only one problem… Plumlee is a horrible free throw shooter. Last season Plumlee shot 63% from the line which is good enough, but so far this season, Plumlee is shooting 49% from the stripe which means that he is missing more than half of the free throws that he is taking.

There is no denying that Plumlee provides tremendous energy when he enters the game off of the bench, but sometimes he is too overzealous for his own good which leads to Plumlee getting into foul trouble. Last season, Plumlee was disqualified due to getting six fouls three times and NBA teams don’t have enough big men to be without one thanks to foul trouble. Plumlee also has a tendency to commit silly fouls which usually add up and haunt him later on in the game. Plumlee has to learn to go straight up and contest a players shot at the rim rather than trying to knock the ball away and misfiring and hitting the players arm.

Lionel Hollins has noticed Plumlee’s sophomore struggles and rather than letting Plumlee play his way out of this slump, Hollins has bumped Plumlee down in the rotation under 28 year old Jerome Jordan who wasn’t even expected to make the team. It doesn’t mean that Hollins has given up on Plumlee it’s just a case of a coach playing the guy that gives his team the best chance to win. On Friday, Hollins even told the media that he expects more from Plumlee.

This article has no intent to take away anything from Plumlee’s game, but maybe we’re expecting too much from him. After his rookie season some fans were ready to give him the starting power forward job over Kevin Garnett and now he is rarely seeing any playing time at all. A sophomore slump is nothing new for a player to go through, but the main issues for Plumlee that he must fix are his free throw shooting and his constant fouling of players. A post game would be a nice addition to his game, but if Plumlee can perform like he did in his rookie season for the rest of the way this year the Nets would be satisfied. If he dunks the ball with authority and impacts a game with his energy, while hitting a decent amount of his free throws, Plumlee can be a significant part of the Nets rotation now and in the future as well.

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