Indiana Pacers: Fans Will Learn to Love Miles Plumlee

Sean FlaneryContributor IIJuly 2, 2012

Plumlee will make a name for himself in Indiana through hard work and relentlessness.
Plumlee will make a name for himself in Indiana through hard work and relentlessness.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When Miles Plumlee was selected in the first round with the 26th overall pick, the majority of Pacers fans were displeased.

I'll admit that I wasn’t a fan of the pick in the beginning either but, as the draft has come and gone, I have researched more about the 7’0" player from Duke.

Plumlee is a very simple player. What you see is what you get.

Plumlee didn’t put up flashy numbers at Duke, averaging 6.6 PPG and just over 7.0 RPG. He was an efficient player who was willing to dive for loose balls and fight for rebounds, which is why Mike Krzyzewski has always thought highly of the young center.

Plumlee earned his playing time—just over 20.0 minutes per game—through his hustle and competitive spirit, much like a current player on the Pacers’ roster.

Louis Amundson is the definition of a “dirty-work” player, as Coach Frank Vogel would put it. The 6’9” power forward is relentless on the glass and never gives up on plays.

Some even say that, at times, Amundson can be a little overaggressive or competitive. The Pacers created a name for themselves this past season, becoming known as a hardworking, and physically tough smash-mouth type of team that did just about anything to win.

Amundson thrived under the Pacers and Coach Vogel’s style of play. Inspired by his hard work and tremendous effort in his little time spent on the court—just over 12 minutes per game—Pacers fans fell in love with Amundson.

The former UNLV Rebel has become a fan favorite in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, from fans sporting his “LOU” t-shirts with the ponytail to the loud cheers every time he picks up another ridiculous foul.

Now, I believe Plumlee will have a very similar uprising in Indianapolis. I am confident that Plumlee will win over the fans and become a fan favorite similar to how Lou did.

However, this time I believe it will be on a slightly larger scale. Plumlee stands at 7’0” tall and registered a 40.5 inch vertical in his pre-draft workouts, as well as measuring a respectable 7'0” wingspan.

Plumlee is an athlete, plain and simple. On the other hand, Amundson stands at a mere 6’9” and possesses a 6’11.5” wingspan.  

There is simply no comparison between the two when it comes to physical attributes. Plumlee wins in the post every time and, let’s face it—we know the Pacers needed a backup center and Lou couldn’t hold down the backup job for another year.

Amundson will be a great backup power forward—which is his natural position—next season, if the Pacers are able to re-sign him.

To make a point, Plumlee may have not been the fan favorite on draft night, but I can foresee him becoming an instant household name in Indiana.

If he puts in the hard work and irritates opposing team’s frontcourts night in and night out, then Pacers fans will fall in love with him just as they did Lou.

Was Plumlee worthy of being selected at 26th overall? Probably not, but with the pick the Pacers addressed an obvious need and proved they will be a physical, hardworking team once again next season.

I trust the front office’s judgment of Plumlee’s ability and potential in the NBA. Plumlee’s job will be to come off the bench, rebound, defend well and go all out for 15 to 20 minutes a game.

Pacers fans will learn to love Plumlee, and I am confident the 23-year-old will develop his own fan club in Indiana. Just as Lou did.