Parsing Plumlee

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Last week, the itinerant troubadours of NBC College Basketball Talk regaled you with the ballad of the NBA draft prospects. My own verse was about the centers, and I rated my top ten on their ability to succeed at the next level. At the time, Miles Plumlee was supernumerary to that effort.

What a difference a week makes. As of today, Miles – long the least heralded of the Plumlee mini-dynasty – has crept into consideration for teams at the bottom of the first round. How on earth did that happen? Coach K told Brett Freidlander of the Wilmington Star-News his take on the quiet man’s rising fortunes:

“Basically, he’ll be a complementary player, like most of the guys in the NBA,” Krzyzewski said last week. “At 6-11, 255-260, he’s an incredible athlete. I think he’s still growing as a player and he’ll only be asked to do things he does well. He can run. He can play defense. He can rebound. He doesn’t have to be a great shooter. He’s an adequate shooter, but he can physically play right away. And he can do the things you would ask a complementary player to do.”

DraftExpress.com also took note of Plumlee’s ascension, and attempted to analyze his game with the help of the highly specialized stats provided by Synergy Sports Technology:

Miles Plumlee might end up being drafted in the first round according to some teams we talk to, despite having the lowest usage rate of any of the 24 big men we looked at. He only garnered 10 transition possessions all season, and was ineffective with his back to the basket. Plumlee was the third best pick and roll finisher in this group, and ranked as the best overall shooter in the severely limited number of jumpers (12 total) he took last season.

In essence, nobody in the NBA seems to think that Plumlee is going to blossom into anything other than what he already is – a big guy who plays fairly well in limited minutes. Sometimes, that’s all a title contender needs to take the next step.