Portland’s new center may be better than advertised

Mason Plumlee has been pretty great in the preseason so far.
Cameron Browne/NBAE/Getty Images

Mason Plumlee is a decent center with useful skills. The Portland Trail Blazers mostly traded for him because he's relatively young and extremely cheap. But after watching his first few preseason games, there's a small chance they might be getting more than they bargained for.

Here's SB Nation's Blazer's Edge with more on Plumlee's terrific play so far, particularly in last night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers and Sunday night's win over the Utah Jazz:

In just 21.6 minutes per game, Plumlee is now averaging 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds, and making 68 percent of his shots.

That's terrific. His defense has been decent enough, but more important are the various ways he's putting the ball in the basket. Plumlee could always dive through the paint to catch a lob, but right now he's showing just how solid his post game is, too. All are promising signs.

Portland bigs acquitted themselves well. Mason Plumlee had a great run, playing 18 minutes with 4-6 shooting, 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. He dribbled past defenders, spun around them, and caught in traffic then dished precisely to open teammates. He made Roy Hibbert look like a Brontosaurus. Every time his sneakers hit the floor, you understood how the Blazers are supposed to play and how pretty it can be.

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