Mason Plumlee established himself late in the season as the team’s go-to defensive option.
Denver has had it’s share of prominent defenders. Mutombo and Camby both won NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors while with the Nuggets. The difference Plumlee brings is that he isn’t exclusively a shot-blocker.
I’ve long thought giving shot-blockers DPOY was a bit of a stretch. I can remember Marcus Camby letting the play go by him to block the shot from the back-side. It worked a lot. More often it resulted in an easy basket or a foul.
Plumlee is athletic, he can switch out on faster players and hold his own. He gets steals. As mentioned in the intro, I believe Nikola Jokic is a better player than Utah’s Rudy Gobert. I also believe that Plumlee is a better player than Gobert. Rudy can dunk and block shots with the best of them. That’s his game. Mason is a gifted passer on top of his defensive skills.
With his role established and with a healthy frontcourt, Plumlee has the opportunity to be a top-tier defensive player.