Mason Plumlee turned a few heads with his stellar performance at the Orlando Summer League.
The Brooklyn Nets (0-5) failed to win a game in the 2013 Southwest Orlando Pro Summer League.
Brooklyn finished dead last in the 10-team league. Jason Kidd made his official head-coaching debut, and was assessed his first technical foul in the team’s opening game.
But it wasn’t all bad for Brooklyn.
First-round selection Mason Plumlee impressed and showed why the Nets made him the No. 21 overall pick. Journeyman point guard Chris Wright made a case for a spot on the roster, and Kidd gained some valuable hands-on coaching experience.
Jason Kidd’s Transition Is Going to be a Gradual Process
Jason Kidd was hired as the Nets new head coach just a month removed from retirement.
He still has a lot to learn about coaching, and that became evident in the opening game versus the Pistons. Assistant coach Lawrence Frank, who coached Kidd when he played for the Nets, spent the entire game talking with his former player on the bench and drew up plays in the huddle during timeouts.
Kidd was hit with a technical foul for leaving the coaches box to argue a no-foul call with a little over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
He was more hands on during the Nets second game against the Miami Heat, drawing up more plays during timeouts.
Kidd did not coach the final two games. He spent the fourth game against the Rockets observing from the scorer’s table alongside Frank and wasn’t on hand for the finale against the Sixers.
Mason Plumlee is Ready to be Part of the Frontcourt Rotation
Plumlee played like a beast throughout the week, averaging 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 46 percent from the field.
In the Nets opening game versus the Pistons, he ran the floor, spun into the lane and threw down a monster dunk over first-rounder Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He finished his debut with 10 points and 14 rebounds and provided another highlight on a one-handed dunk in the third quarter.
Plumlee recorded 23 points and nine rebounds in the next game versus the Heat and poured in another 23 points in the finale against the Sixers.
The 23-year-old show cased his athleticism, aggressiveness and high basketball IQ, and he was the best player on the court for Brooklyn in three of the five games. If the 7-footer out of Duke performs like this during the regular season, it won’t be long before pundits start calling him the steal of the draft.
Plumlee’s summer league performance almost surely earned him a spot in the Nets frontcourt rotation alongside Reggie Evans, Andray Blatche, Kevin Garnett and Brook Lopez.
Tyshawn Taylor Isn’t Ready to be Deron Williams’ Primary Backup
Point guard Tyshawn Taylor is entering his second year in the NBA. During his first season, Taylor played just 5.8 minutes per game.
After his inconsistent performance at the Orlando Summer League, it’s clear the 23-year-old isn’t ready to become D-Will’s primary backup. In five games, Taylor averaged 16.8 points and 2.2 steals on 38 percent shooting. Although he managed to score in double-figures in all five games, he averaged 5.2 turnovers and just 3.5 assists.
Brooklyn signed veteran newcomer Shaun Livingston last week. Taylor will undoubtedly play more next season, but he’ll have to compete this year with Livingston for minutes backing up Williams.
During Thursday’s game against the Rockets he suffered an ankle injury but returned to the game in the second half.
Taylor is explosive and talented, but he’ll have to play more consistent if he wants increased playing time on a deep, veteran-laden team.
Chris Wright Deserves a Spot on an NBA Roster
Georgetown product Chris Wright was invited to join the Nets summer league roster and had a solid showing, averaging 13 points and 3.2 assists on 46 percent shooting.
Wright was the Nets best player behind Plumlee and Taylor. He showed off his range, shooting 3 of 5 from beyond the arc in a 20-point effort against the Jazz and showed he’s capable of running the offense effectively.
The 6’1” point guard recorded 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the finale against the Sixers.
Wright, who played in three games for the Dallas Mavericks last season, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in February of 2012 while playing professionally in Turkey.
He’s shown a tremendous amount of will and determination while overcoming the disease.
If things break right for the 23-year-old, he could be invited to the Nets camp in September. Unfortunately, with Jason Terry, Livingston and Taylor on the roster, there may not be room for him.
In addition to playing with the Nets summer squad, Wright also currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs in the Las Vegas Summer League, where he’ll have yet another chance to accomplish his dream of playing in the NBA.
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