Plumlee goes Lob City on Lob City
November, 17, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Richard Mackson/USA TODAY SportsMason Plumlee had two alley-oop dunks, a put-back slam and a two-handed throwdown against the Clippers.Mason Plumlee kept going Lob City on Lob City.
The Brooklyn Nets rookie big man had two alley-oop dunks, a put-back slam and a two-handed throwdown in the team's 110-103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night at Staples Center.
When asked about his matchup with elite high-flyer Blake Griffin, Plumlee told reporters after the game. "You gotta go at him. He's going at you, so you gotta meet him. In this league, I guess you can't back down from anybody."
Plumlee, 23, finished with a career-high 19 points in a career-high 27 minutes. The team's first-round pick out of Duke went 7-for-10 from the field, but just 5-for-12 from the free-throw stripe.
However, regardless of his struggles from the charity stripe, it appears as though Plumlee has supplanted Reggie Evans on the depth chart. And he's been a welcome addition to the rotation due to his energy and athleticism.
Plumlee has been particularly good playing off penetration and pick-and-rolls, something he didn't do while at Duke, when he was playing mostly with his back to the basket.
"It's a different role, but each day I feel more comfortable," said Plumlee, who has logged 74 minutes in the team's last four games.
While the Nets have gotten off to a slower start than they would've liked, Plumlee, who appeared D-League bound given the team's frontcourt depth, has been quite the pleasant surprise.
• Heading into a week in which they play four games, all the focus will be on the health of Brook Lopez (sprained left ankle), Deron Williams (sprained left ankle), Kevin Garnett (sprained right ankle) and Paul Pierce (sore left groin). All four starters didn't play in Saturday night's game.
Before the game, coach Jason Kidd said he'd see how they all feel Sunday. The Nets don't practice Sunday because they just played a back-to-back.
Reporters in the locker room spoke with Lopez after the game, and he was non-committal about playing Monday against Portland. Reporters also tweeted that Lopez was walking with a bad limp, while Williams seemed better.
It remains to be seen when these players return to the lineup, but you know the Nets will be cautious.
• Kidd pretty much summed up Saturday night's game when he said, "The guys who suited up gave us everything they had, we just came up short."
• Andray Blatche did say the Nets played with "trust" and within the system. That's a positive, considering trust issues -- especially on the defensive end -- have been brought up before.
&bul; Joe Johnson went 14-for-46 from the field during Brooklyn's three-game West Coast roadtrip. That's 30.4 percent. Still, the Nets may have finished 0-3 if not for his game-winning buzzer-beater Friday night in Phoenix.