Denver Nuggets’ Mason Plumlee excited to form formidable reserve frontcourt with Jerami Grant
LAS VEGAS – Mason Plumlee has brought consistent energy and strong defense off the bench since his arrival in the Mile High City in 2017. The Nuggets recently added another sparkplug in Jerami Grant this summer and Plumlee is looking forward to pairing with the former Oklahoma City Thunder forward in what should be a strong, athletic and defensive reserve frontcourt.
“It’ll be huge,” Plumlee told Nuggets.com in explaining the advantages on defense. “There’s no mystery to when we play well and when we didn’t. When we defended and held teams, we came out on top most of the time.”
Plumlee admired Grant’s game while he was with the Thunder and believes the 25-year-old forward has a versatile skill set that will help the Nuggets.
“One of the things is that he can space the floor; he brings you so much on offense and he can finish around the rim. Playing against Oklahoma City, I can’t tell you the number of times I went in there and he was going vertical at the rim,” Plumlee said. “His defense in the interior [stands out] and he’s agile enough to guard on the perimeter. I think it’s going to be a subtle but big addition for us at that position.”
The Nuggets are expected to take a step forward this season thanks to the addition of Grant, Michael Porter Jr. and several improvements from the team’s core. Plumlee has been especially focused on his development this summer. He’s been focused on his free-throw shooting, wanting to improve from the 56.1 percent he shot last season and he’s been vying for a spot on Team USA’s World Cup roster. It’s a move he feels will raise his game in the regular season.
“Biggest thing [this offseason] has been free throws, I’m really happy with how I’m shooting free throws right now,” Plumlee said. “My body feels good; I had a healthy season last season so just [continuing] the regiment of being in the weight room. I’m in better shape now than I would’ve been last summer and that’s due to the opportunity here. I feel good, my game feels good and I’m looking forward to camp. “