Miles Plumlee Monster Dunk in Summer League

You can’t read much into Summer League. The statistics are irrelevant and the overall level of play borders on a scrimmage. But sometimes just watching how a guy looks and carries himself on the court can tell you a litte. Through three quarters against the Celtics’ summer league invites, Lance Stephenson and Miles Plumlee have looked athletically head and shoulders above everyone with the exception of perhaps Fab Melo. Plumlee is the biggest guy on the court and clearly knows how to position himself in places where he can succeed on both ends. This means little playing against this competition, but he has been disruptive defensively, made a few solid moves with the ball and finished plays with two monster dunks.

The above is one of them.

You have to like Plumlee’s positioning here, which illustrates somebody who has been well coached and reminds me of where Nick Collison often stands. In Summer League, Miles is big enough to just make space in the middle, catch and score. In such circumstances, many would just lean on their athleticism, get a little sloppy on fundamentals and walk away thinking they are reading to play in the NBA because they just embarrassed some guys who will soon be playing in Turkey. But Miles doesn’t do that here. He maintains his positioning out wide and super low on the baseline, giving his guards room to drive in the paint. And when Stephenson sees Miles’ man cheating into the paint, Lance finds him with a pass. Then he does something Nick Collison — and especially Tyler Hansbrough — can’t: takes on gather step and throws down and unblockable finish with authority from distance.

Credit Mr. and Mrs. Plumlee’s genetic combination for giving him the ability to finish like that.

But credit Coach K for why he was open.

UPDATE: Here is another, eerily similar dunk by Miles in the second half over Fab Melo. Again, notice the positioning and the discipline to maintain spacing — during a glorified practice. Encouraging to see from a guy who is expected to have to rely on his brain to carve out a decent NBA career.

After the game, NBA TV’s Rick Kamla asked him about his two big dunks.

“I can jump,” said Plumlee.

Tags: White Men Can Jump

  • Tom

    Just watched the whole game, and plumlee really impressed. a couple monster dunks and a few nice defensive plays, as well as some decent shooting around the rim and from the elbow. I actually am starting to think he might not have been such a bad pick after all. But then again, it’s just summer league…

  • Zack

    I haven’t been able to watch any of the games, but is Orlando Johnson playing as bad as his stat line indicates? His best ability, based on the stat sheet, is to get to the free throw line. Where he is shooting 57% (12/21) in 3 games. Yikes.

    I guess Lance played very well in the first two games (especially game 2), but had a bit of a down game today. I hope he can continue to improve and get some playing time off the bench at the backup PG spot (assuming DC will be traded at some point this year).

  • PG

    You can contrast Plumlee with Hansbrough and that’s fine, Hansbrough has limited athleticism and Plumlee obviously is far and above that. But don’t use Collison in the same sentence as Hansbrough. Collison is a stellar defender, a good athlete and a useful offensive piece (good screen setter and great on the offensive boards) and he also finishes strongly at the rim. He could absolutely make that play that Plumlee makes above. Just check out a couple clips. If Plumlee turned out to be Nick Collison then I’d sing the praises of everyone in Indy’s front office. Time will tell if that’s actually the case.

  • NoLookPass

    Plumlee is McBob version 2

  • AJ

    Miles is gonna be our change-of-pace big off the bench. Where Roy is more of an iso, back-to-the-basket, tip-in player on offense, Miles is gonna provide us with more of a PNRoll/Pop option at the 5. Reminds me a little of what Orlando enjoyed with Howard and Gortat a few years back. They had different styles of play, but both were effective and used properly in SVG’s system. May not be a bad idea to bring him in as a consultant or even asst coach if we happen to lose BShaw.

    Either way, I’m excited to see what our trio in the summer league can contribute to the B&G come the regular season.

  • Tom

    Zack – yes, orlando johnson looks pretty terrible. he doesn’t seem to contribute anything except attempts at scoring… and he can’t score. at least right now, let’s hope it’s just a rough smart or a fluke or something

  • NoLookPass

    Its funny how much people go bonkers over summer league, the least favorite player on our roster and a player who everyone thinks sucks averaged 18.2 in a 5-0 summer league and he had to share the ball with our maxed out center. That terrible player made the all summer league team with Big Roy, Westbrook, Harden and Ryan Anderson. Harden and that disliked player were the only two on the first team with no previous NBA experience.

  • Adam B.

    Lance did not look all that good. 6 fouls an 7 turn overs is not impressive and is a huge step back from game 2. Let us wait for game 4 to see if he can regroup. It might have been because of fatigue.

    As for Miles, I like how he contributes in different ways depending on the match ups. Let us wait for preseason before we pass judgement though. I have a feeling what we are seeing here will disappear when going up against stiffer competition.

  • NoLookPass

    Orlando Johnson after 3 games is shooting 20.9% from the field and has shot more than anyone on the team. Usually the more guys jack the more they make but it hasn’t been the case for OJ.

  • gregor t.

    The Pacers are going to lose B. Shaw at some point. I had not even thought about SVG coming to the bench. That is a solid idea for a year or two. He should be a head coach, but so should Shaw. Who knows. I think that fits even better than Jerry Sloan. SVG would love the Pacers defenders! Man, what a tease.

  • IU Fan

    Still not entirely convinced on Plumlee’s game. He looks lost when the ball comes to him unless he can just catch it and dunk it. He does have a wild hairstyle though….


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  • Joe B

    Plumlee is not McBob 2. He is stronger, taller, and more athletic. He is Plumlee 1, and is showing above, and explained in the post, why the Pacers drafted him: he is a smart basketball player who benefited from four years with coach K and just so happens to be blessed by 7 feet, non-stick-figureish weight, and a 40′ vertical. So many people hated this pick, and though it’s “only” the summer league where many players attempt to earn their way to a paycheck in the winter, he did own Fab Melo and outplayed the Celtics bench bigs.

    “Honorable mention: The Pacers surprised NBA fans on Draft night when they selected Miles Plumlee out of Duke, who averaged just 6.6 points per game in his senior season. Plumlee led the Pacers with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He also contributed eight boards and three blocked shots. Two of those blocks probably should have been called goaltends, however, including a Sullinger floater that Plumlee swatted after it had hit the backboard.”

  • IULegend

    Don’t be fooled by a few dunks, Plumlee is utter garbage and he will backup Mahinmi at best. Should’ve resigned Amundsen, who would wipe the floor with Plumlee.