Denver Nuggets: 3 Unsung Heroes of the 8-1 Start

Denver Nuggets (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Mason Plumlee is enjoying himself.

This Denver Nuggets team is the perfect place for the giant from the Indiana basketball family. He gets to grab a defensive rebound, dribble all the way into the frontcourt, cross-over, drive left and…..and…..fall down and watch the ball trickle out-of-bounds.

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That play brought almost as big a smile from the Nuggets center as his fourth-quarter three-point shot, the first of his career, did.

It’s as fun to watch Plumlee play the game as it appears to be for him to play it.  Over the summer, fans and bloggers questioned the extension Mason signed with the Nuggets before last season.  Believing his 13.6 million salary too high for an easily replaced role-player, Plumlee was mentioned in every trade rumor and scenario.

Fortunately, the Nuggets organization didn’t agree and Plumlee has paid that confidence off.  He’s a defensive force for the Nuggets, he’s active and a deceptively accurate passer, in the mold of teammate Nikola Jokic.  He can jump over those mountains right there and we’re pretty sure that three-pointer we mentioned earlier was the thing that sealed the game for the Nuggets.

You can’t always find what’s so special about Plumlee in the stat line but watch him bat alley-oops or offensive rebounds back out to teammates or step out and cut off a driving lane to let a teammate recover and you’ll get it.  Mason is as important to this early surge as anyone on the floor and he’s loving it.