Plumlee On Zion Block: "Never Seen Anything Like That"

Mason Plumlee shared his thoughts on Zion Williamson, Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, and the Denver Nuggets, among other topics

Tiki and Tierney
February 12, 2019 - 6:12 pm

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No. 2 Duke (21-2) has been almost unbeatable this season. The Blue Devils have lost only two games – one in November to No. 3 Gonzaga and one in January to Syracuse – by a combined six points.

Other than that? All Ws – and it’s easy to see why. Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett have been unstoppable, 

You can credit Mike Krzyzewski for that.

“He’s done a really good job,” Nuggets forward and former Blue Devil Mason Plumlee said on Tiki & Tierney. “He’s adjusted. College basketball has evolved. You got to think of the time that he’s been coaching, it’s had a couple evolutions. Now he’s doing the one-and done better than the people who were doing it at the outset.”

Krzyzewski, 71, has coached at Duke since 1980, and Williamson and Barrett might be his most talented freshmen duo ever. Williamson is averaging 21.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while Barrett is averaging 23.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists. 

Williamson, as you've probably seen, had a sick block in an 81-71 win at Virginia on Saturday.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Plumlee said.

Still, there are concerns about Williamson at the next level. Will he be able to play 82 games at his listed weight of 285 pounds?

“He’ll just have to get a feel for his own body,” Plumlee said. “If you look at some players in the NBA like Kobe, I know he decided one summer, ‘I’m dropping 15 pounds,’ and he felt like that gave him a little more longevity. The way the game is now, it's so fast and free and they call so much on defense that maybe the weight won't be as important. It’ll be a decision that him and his organization have to make. As long as you have a plan and you believe in your body and how it's prepared in the offseason, he’ll be fine.”

The Nuggets (38-18), meanwhile, are in the midst of one of the best seasons in franchise history and are currently the 2-seed in the West. Denver was quiet at the trade deadline but will soon get a boost from Isaiah Thomas (hip), who hasn’t played since last season.

"He's himself,” Plumlee said. “He’s the Isaiah that I remember playing against when he was in Boston, and we're really excited to bring him back. We didn't do a lot at the trade deadline, and we didn't feel the need to. I like that we're in the position we're in, and we still have Isaiah to add to the mix. . . He’s been working out, and he looks good.”

The Nuggets have seven players averaging double figures, including Nikola Jokic (20.4 points per game) and Jamal Murray (18.4). While it seems other teams in the league have had their share of chemistry issues this season, the Nuggets, well, haven’t.

“It's been really good,” Plumlee said. “I think those are real issues in NBA locker rooms. We have a roster full of talent, a little bit like what you see in Boston. I think our chemistry is good, and I think the overall mindset of the team is, ‘We're better together.’ That's what’s exciting for me and this team. It's unique. We're excited with where we're at and what we're doing. Aside from Paul Millsap, I don't know if anybody's been on a team this good in the league, so we're very excited.”