My View on Miles Plumlee
A look at Miles Plumlee, and the role he plays with the Pacers in the future.
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“And with the 26th pick in the NBA Draft, the Indiana Pacers select… Miles Plumlee”
For myself, and many other Pacers fans alike, I believe that time stopped for a seconds upon hearing who the Pacers chose with their first round pick. It wasn’t Perry Jones III. It wasn’t Arnett Moultrie, or even Festus Ezeli. It was Miles Plumlee. The same Miles Plumlee that came off the bench for a Duke Blue Devils team that wasn’t quite up to par with the great Blue Devils teams of the past. The same Miles Plumlee that didn’t lead his team in rebounding or points in his final year with the program. That Miles Plumlee. I couldn’t quite process the selection. He was projected to go mid second-round, and we had a lottery pick in PJ3 just waiting to be picked up. Yet, as the days go on, Miles Plumlee starts to look better and better.
Miles Plumlee has good size at 6′10″ and 245 pounds, and is fairly athletic for his position, he played at a very talented school under one of college basketball’s greatest coaches, and isn’t burdened with any kind of injuries or attitude problems. He fits well with what the Pacers really need, a big guy to come off the bench and put in quality minutes. On top of that, he’s playing very well in this year’s Summer League in Orlando. While conclusions shouldn’t be drawn from the summer league, he really is playing well. He’s averaging 14 points and just under 7 rebounds after 4 games, as he’s really holding his own against the other young big men in Orlando. He really wasn’t that bad of a choice after all. The only question now is, what’s his role gonna be next year?
Early on, it seemed apparent. Roy Hibbert needed a back-up, and Miles Plumlee was the guy. However, with the Pacers trading Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones to Dallas for energetic big man Ian Mahinmi, Miles’ role gets lost in translation. At first glance it seems like he’ll be spending his rookie season getting limited playing time as a 3rd string Center. However, after his performances in the summer league, he’s looking much more like a power forward than a center. His athleticism and playing style basically screams power forward, and I could definitely see him slapping hands with David West to replace him whenever West needs a break. Plumlee and Mahinmi would make a tall, long second string frontcourt that could hold the fort while West and Hibbert take their rests. The only problem with this solution for Plumlee’s role on the team is that the Pacers already have a back-up PF in Tyler Hansbrough. While not having all the talent in the world, Hansbrough does bring alot of energy and passion to the court, as he was a key player coming off the bench last season.
It seems that Plumlee’s role can only be decided by himself. The way I see it, with the frontcourt the team has now, Plumlee will be the third string center, but will have a chance at being the back-up power forward. Plumlee and Hansbrough will most likely be in a position battle for back-up power forward from now until the fall. If Plumlee puts in enough work, the back-up power forward position will be his. If he doesn’t work hard and improve though, he’ll be third string for both big man positions and will receive very limited amounts of playing time. His role will be determined by how hard he works in the off-season, and so far, from watching the Summer League games, it looks like he’s a very hard worker.