The NBA continues to disrespect the Phoenix Suns. Miles Plumlee played just 15:22 in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge of NBA All-Star Weekend, the fewest of any player in the game. #FreeMiles
Yet even with limited minutes by Plumlee, Team Hill still managed to pull out the win 142-136. Andre Drummond came out fired up right away and took home MVP honors for trying harder than everyone else. He finished with 30 points and a Rising Stars Challenge record 25 rebounds. The second half devolved into a one-on-one contest between Dion Waiters and Tim Hardaway Jr. with both guys chucking up increasingly deeper 3-pointers. Waiters finished with 31 points and seven assists and hit four of his six 3-point attempts. Hardaway jacked up 16 triples, hitting seven and finishing with a game-high 36 points.
But enough about the rest of the guys. They don't matter. Let's break down Miles' performance.
The final stat line: 4 points, 2-2 shooting, 3 rebounds (one offensive), 1 block, 1 foul, 3 turnovers
Plumlee converted both of his field goal attempts, the first of which came on his first possession as he cut down the lane for a two-handed crush, eliciting comments about the Plumlees' athleticism from the broadcast crew of Matt Winer, Chris Webber and Grant Hill. The second was a contested layup on a nice drive to the basket.
Two attempts was the fewest number of shots of anyone in the game. In what I can only assume was an anti-Phoenix, anti-Miles conspiracy, his teammates rarely looked to him while guys like Terrence Jones benefited from lobs to the rim an dump-off passes all game long. Horrible job by the coach not putting Plumlee in position to succeed. #FreeMiles
It wasn't a great rebounding game by Miles, as he struggled at times to grab the ball and lost at least two rebounds out of bounds off his own hands. However, he did pull down three of them and kept a few others alive by getting a hand on them and tipping them up.
Also, shocking news I know but Plumlee DID NOT in fact learn that boxing out is an important part of basketball during his one Rising Stars practice.
Plumlee didn't exactly give his best effort on this end, but compared to the rest of the guys on the court he looked incredible. Early on he got called for a bogus foul in which he had position and jumped straight up in the air with his arms above his head, yet the ref called it anyway. Boo to you, sir. Look up the rule of verticality. Still, good to see no layups defense from the Plum.
Also, he had one of the highlights of the evening as Anthony Davis dove to the basket for a dunk. Most players would simply step to the side in this situation. After all, it IS an exhibition and it WAS Anthony Davis with his Go Go Gadget arms; any normal player would avoid the potential for posterization. Not Miles, however. No siree. Instead of stepping away, he stood his ground, met Davis at the peak of his jump and dropped the hammer, swatting the ball right put of Davis' hand (unfortunately the ball bounced right to Davis' teammate for an easy two points. Still, it was one of the best plays of the night.
It seems like every time you get a big man in an All-Star game he always wants to show off his handles, and we saw a bit of that tonight from Miles. On the bright side, Plumlee did snag an offensive rebound at one point and showed off a couple of nifty behind-the-back dribbles. However, he also tried to take the ball the length of the court after securing a defensive rebound and had his pocket picked by trey Burke.
All in all, Point Plumee is not something I want to see come back from New Orleans.
Plumlee vs. Plumlee
For much of Miles' time on the court, he was matched up with his brother, Nets rookie Mason Plumlee. Unfortunately, little brother took this battle. Mason finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in over 18 minutes of play. Mason's big game wasn't necessarily Miles' fault, as a lot of those points came in transition and on garbage plays (like Miles' block on Davis; it was Mason who scored on that play). Mason's teammates actually looked to get him the ball, unlike his older brother.
In summary, Miles did some good things and some bad things, the NBA still hates the Suns and #FreeMiles.