I have a bit of a history of making bold claims about Mason Plumlee. Usually, my gushing has received mixed reviews from Pistons’ fans, but in last night’s close loss to the Brooklyn Nets, I felt incredibly validated.
Kyrie Irving did not play last night. Speculation surrounds his reasons for not playing in the middle of a playoff push. Reported to be a “family matter,” rumors run rampant, and it has been suspected that he has missed the last three games for his birthday.
These rumors are simply not true. Kyrie was out because he was busy possessing the body of Mason Plumlee.
Detroit Pistons: Mason Plumlee had one of the highlights of the year
Seven minutes into the game, tied at 17, the Piston’s offense collapsed and it looked like their possession would end in a turnover. Somehow, Plumlee received the ball about 20 feet away from the basket and immediately send Timothe Luwawu-Cabrrot stumbling.
I’m not sure where the handles came from. It was a move I’ve never seen a near-seven footer make, but it was fabulous. Everyone should try to replicate the move at their next pickup game.
As if that move wasn’t enough on its own, Plumlee took a power dribble to his right, went up for the right-hand slam, and avoided Bruce Brown in the process. The end result was a two-handed jam after a mid-air adjustment that would leave even the best NBA talents jealous.
If the handles and mid-air athleticism were not enough to prove that Kyrie Irving had in fact taken over Mason Plumlee, on the opposite end he immediately gave up an easy layup to James Harden to bring the game to another tie. Rather than attacking the man who was clearly headed to the basket, Plumlee decided to stay on his man, resulting in an easy bucket.
Harden is a difficult player to stop, but some effort would have been appreciated. Kyrie was still in control.
The Pistons have far too many guards and ball-handlers, which will be an issue unless they can find a frontrunner to run the offense. Mason Plumlee is the darkhorse pick to be the next Allen Iverson if he keeps pulling moves like this. It was incredible. It was graceful. It resulted in one of the slickest buckets all season.
Mason Plumlee has emerged as a point god. One move was all it took. Pistons fans should be smitten.