Brooklyn’s second-year center Mason Plumlee doesn’t know what his role is yet, but hopes it isn’t coming off the bench
Mason Plumlee has been getting a lot of attention lately because of his fight for a spot on Team USA’s World Cup roster that has gone way better than expected. There is still a little more than a week before we find out if he has made that team, but in the meantime Plumlee is letting everyone know that he wouldn’t mind starting for the Brooklyn Nets next season.
“Oh yeah,” Plumlee said when asked if he wanted to start. “What player doesn’t wanna start?”
This comes as the Nets have had coaches at every Team USA practice with new head coach Lionel Hollins discussing what parts of his game he specifically needs to work on.
“No,” said Mason Plumlee when reporters asked him what he thought his roll would be on the 2014-15 Nets. “But [the coaches] are working on it. They were out [there], they watched every [USA] practice out in [Las] Vegas, the whole staff was out there. They’re on the job, so if I don’t know, I’ll know soon. ”
It was unclear what Plumlee’s role was going to be on last year’s team, but when all was said and done he played a much bigger part than expected. In 70 games, and 22 starts, he averaged 14.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes. He got better as the year went on and was a huge part of the team when Kevin Garnett suffered back problems down the stretch. He lost a lot of minutes in the playoffs, though, as he seemed to regress a bit in the more pressure packed situations.
My guess is that Mason Plumlee will end up starting a lot of games this season. Brook Lopez will undoubtedly need some games off to rest his four-time surgically repaired foot. However, when Lopez is in the lineup he’s going to start as he is most efficient early in games. So if Plumlee is going to top his 22 starts from his rookie campaign it’s going to have to be at power forward ahead of KG. So Plumlee’s ability to get more starts is going to depend on how well he matches up with Lopez as the four-five combination.