Nuggets 2018-19 Player Previews: Mason Plumlee
Last Season: Mason Plumlee is as tough as they come, and he gutted through a painful 2017-18 season that resulted in core surgery after it finished. Plumlee has never played fewer than 70 games in any season, and last season was no different, as he logged 74 games played.
One of the Nuggets’ toughest and most physical players, Plumlee averaged 7.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 blocks – second only to Paul Millsap’s 1.2 swats per game. This was his first full season with the Nuggets after being traded to the team in February 2017 from the Portland Trail Blazers.
2018-19 Outlook: Plumlee will reprise his role as the primary backup to Nikola Jokic at center for the Nuggets. It is a multi-faceted job, and Plumlee is good in a number of areas, but he excels in rolling to the rim for lob dunks and creating space for guards, in rim protection, facilitating on offense, and in screen assists – and in physicality in general.
He can play at center alone or alongside Jokic, if the Nuggets want to put a big lineup on the court. Look for a healthy Plumlee to be more explosive more often and be able to move around the court with a lot more fluidity and speed.
Bold Prediction: Plumlee will establish new career highs in blocks, assists and steals.
Christopher Dempsey: firstname.lastname@example.org and @chrisadempsey on Twitter.