Who would have thought one year ago that Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee could potentially be on Team USA’s 2014 World Cup roster? The answer: probably nobody. After Tuesday’s cuts, the possibility has increased.
Sure, a few things have gone right for Plumlee to be in this position. Kevin Love dropped out as he came to the realization that he could be a major distraction to the team with his uncertain future. Paul George suffered a gruesome injury during a team scrimmage, creating another available roster spot. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Plumlee’s former coach at Duke, Mike Krzyzweski, is also currently at the helm of Team USA.
With John Wall, Bradley Beal and Paul Millsap being cut on Tuesday, there are 16 players left trying to make the 12-man roster. The remaining big men are Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Kenneth Faried, Andre Drummond and Plumlee. Davis appears to be the only lock for the team. This leaves the other four big’s left to fight it out on the court.
Drummond is the best rebounder and shot blocker. Cousins is the best scorer. Faried and Plumlee can both play above the rim, but also hustle as hard as anyone.
Team USA is practically always an All-Star team. They will be led this year by Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and James Harden, among other star players. Plumlee enjoyed a very good rookie season with the Nets, but he was certainly no All-Star.
The fact that he has even made it this far, despite being very limited offensively, is a testament to his hard work both on and off the court. It will be interesting to see whether or not Plumlee will be among the players to make the final roster.