Mason Plumlee’s averages this season of 7.8 points and 6.3 rebounds hide how well he fits into the Nuggets system.
Mason Plumlee hasn’t been perfect this season. Sometimes he has been unselfish with the ball almost to a fault, passing out of easy layups at the rim he has already gone up for only to kick it out to a surprised-looking perimeter player for a 3.
But what Plumlee has brought to the Nuggets is a different type of rebounding big man to the Nuggets, one who rebounds with power and elevates over others to catch the ball off the rim. Plumlee gobbles up offensive rebounds where he ranks 18th in the NBA in offensive rebound percentage with 10.6.
When Plumlee entered the game for the first time against the Pistons the Nuggets were ahead 13-5 with 5:17 left in the first quarter. Plumlee immediately got to work getting a defensive then an offensive rebound before dunking the ball to put the Nuggets up 15-5.
Plumlee continued to stuff the stat sheet after with nothing but effort racking up 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 points and a block before being subbed out for Paul Millsap midway through the second quarter with the Nuggets leading by 13 points and having led by as many as 20 early in the second quarter.
Mason Plumlee finished the game with 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting and 12 rebounds including four on the offensive end in 23 minutes, but what Plumlee gives the Nuggets is more important than his numbers.
It’s the energy and contribution to the critical mass of good offensive rebounding players the Nuggets have assembled in Nikola Jokic, Mason Plumlee and Paul Millsap who each rank within the top 50 of the NBA in offensive rebounds per game.
The Nuggets have proved they can win games by dominating the offensive glass against smaller less physical teams to get easy looks at the bucket and plumlee is one of the cornerstones of that style of play.