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Thursday, May 22, 2014
Plumlee makes NBA's All-Rookie first team

By Mike Mazzeo

NEW YORK -- Mason Plumlee never gave the Brooklyn Nets a reason to send him to the NBDL -- even though the expectation was that he was going to spend at least some time there.

Plumlee was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie first team on Thursday.

The team’s first-round pick out of Duke (No. 22 overall) exceeded expectations, leading all first-year pros in field-goal percentage (65.9) and Player Efficiency Rating (19.09).

He ranked 11th in the NBA in dunks (116) and highlighted his first season in the association with a game-clinching block of LeBron James before time expired.

Plumlee was a sponge this season, soaking up all he could from veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Nets coach Jason Kidd treated him very much like a rookie, forbidding Plumlee from taking jump shots.

In fact, all 199 of Plumlee’s field goals came inside the restricted area. Plulmee went 0-for-11 on shots outside the restricted area. So yes, there is work to be done.

Plumlee needs to become a more polished player on both ends of the floor. And it seemed like he was a bit overwhelmed in the playoffs, which is completely understandable for a player who has such little experience.

But Plumlee has some skill, and it looks as though he can definitely be a solid rotation piece for years to come.