Mason Plumlee might be a rookie and is still a little raw, but he’s been impressive so far in camp. With such a deep roster he’s still unlikely to get a ton of playing time this season, but in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Heat Jason Kidd threw Plumlee out there with the starters a lot to see what the rookie could do and came away impressed.
“We wanted to see Mason play with the starters as much as possible tonight to see how he would respond,” Kidd said when asked why Reggie Evans didn’t play in the first half. “It’s about the depth of our team there are still guys that we want to develop and see how they react. I thought he responded, especially not knowing what role he would be playing tonight, and I thought he responded in a positive way.”
Plumlee, who has been excited by the very idea of the chance of playing with such big-time veterans, indeed did a solid job. He showed a lot of athleticism for a 6-foot-11 player and scored eight points with eight rebounds in 24 minutes. He also had a plus/minute of plus-17.
“It was great,” said a smiling Plumlee after the game. “I’ve always wanted to play with those guys and I just wanted to show it by bringing energy and rebound and I think I did it for the most part. When you go out there with Kevin Garnett on your right and Paul Pierce on your left, you feel pretty powerful going out there with that kind of a squad.
“This was really my first time (playing with the starters),” he admitted. “If you are a pass first player and share the ball those guys make it really easy to play with. It makes it easy for a guy to come in that’s never played with them before.”
Nets general manager Billy King did recently admit that Plumlee is likely to get plenty of playing time for the Nets’ D-League affiliate the Springfield Armor this season. He’ll probably get some playing time in Brooklyn too though. Not a lot, but Kevin Garnett is going to need regular rest and if there is an injury, even a minor one, we’ll probably start to see Plumlee on a regular basis. So it’s good to see him fitting in so well with the squad early on.