INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Commentary: The Blue Devils' big bail-out fallacy, or why Mason Plumlee can't save them

Posted by on Sat, Jan 5, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Seth Curry during the 2012 ACC Tournament
We don’t want to be too hard on the kid, but before we start talking about Mason Plumlee receiving national player of the year honors, we should probably build a better case of why he shouldn’t be considered for the award for the sake of saving both him and Duke from what could be a very different second half of the season.

Like Coach Krzyzewski always mentions, Duke is a beatable team and we might see one of these losses occur over the next couple of weeks. More than likely, it will be Mason Plumlee's fault. He can't save Duke.

I can’t be too hard on No. 1 Duke either, because—whether or not I’m painfully undecided on whether this team is outplaying 11-1 Kansas—the Blue Devils’ starting five is still playing like a well-choreographed, pitch-perfect quintet. However, “The Temptations” would be an apt title for the Duke bunch, since the Blue Devils have appeared enormously tempted to force its offense to depend solely on Mason Plumlee’s efficiency in both scoring, and especially offensive rebounding—the inefficiency of which led to Davidson scoring 14 second-chance points in the first half of Wednesday night’s game.

Even Plumlee admitted that he had a bad game. If Duke would have suffered a loss to Davidson, all of the blame would have rested on Plumlee’s performance, even though that night should have belonged to Seth Curry—who after putting up a Duke career-high 31 points against Santa Clara returned to his hometown of Charlotte to put up a repeat performance against Davidson. It didn’t quite work out that way and Plumlee’s 10 points didn’t make the win look any prettier—you could see the rare ugliness on Quinn Cook’s face.

But how hard must it be for Mason Plumlee’s younger brother Marshall to sit on the bench game after game knowing that if he were able to offer his brother just a few more minutes of sibling relief, it could boost Mason’s game energy just enough to grab a few more offensive rebounds and maybe not turn the ball over as much. Mason never looks fatigued, but he often looks overused; and luckily, Ryan Kelly saves his ass. The Plumlee brothers’ tandem doesn’t seem to be something that Coack K is interested in exploring this year and if Marshall’s recovery from his injuries persist, he may not have a choice—unless Mason finds himself injured from constant wear and tear.

This was the danger during Duke's Nov. 13's game against Kentucky. In theory, big men Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein should have suffocated Plumlee and put him out of business. Luckily, the inexperience of the two freshman (Noel and Cauley-Stein) left the Wildcats' whole frontcourt dumbfounded against a smarter Plumlee. On any other day and against any other team with that much length, Duke's dependence on Plumlee would have been trashed.

It’s a possibility, and it’s almost certain that one of Duke’s starting five will get too roughed up during conference play to keep up the amount of minutes they’ve been stacking. Then, it’ll be up to Plumlee to bail the team out of its misery, which is scary because he’s only as much of a leader as any one of Duke’s wingmen allow him to be. That's not a dependable offense.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It
Mason never looks fatigued, but he often looks overused; and luckily, Ryan Kelly saves his ass.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports

More by Eric Tullis

Facebook Activity

Twitter Activity


Also in NASL news, looks like there's a new book on Amazon about the Silverbacks called Guerrilla Soccer.

by ASFC-Til-I-Die on Subtraction by addition: Carolina RailHawks draw 1-1 with Fort Lauderdale, but lose ground in playoff race (Sports)

Doesn't the same ownership group own both the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo? Seems like a double standard.

by Rob Swenson on Deadline in US Soccer Pro League Standards emerges as motive for sale of NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers (Sports)

Most Read

© 2014 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation