A Duke basketball name trended on Twitter due to a puzzling defensive play.
At first glance, Denver Nuggets reserve Mason Plumlee looked to be lost in Space Mountain during the final 2.1 seconds of a 105-103 loss in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. Upon further review, though, it seems the former Duke basketball big man simply had a miscommunication with teammate Jerami Grant.
Either way, for now, Plumlee is stuck wearing the “Dopey” tag inside the Disney bubble as his squad faces a 2-0 deficit. At least that appears to be the consensus among Twitter critics, who made sure the seventh-year pro reached “trending” status immediately following the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer from a nearly uncontested Anthony Davis.
Plumlee, who finished with two points, one board, and four assists in nine minutes of action, drew the assignment of locking down Davis after checking into the game for the last play. Needless to say, he wasn’t successful.
However, one could argue that Grant was calling for Plumlee either to switch onto LeBron James just before the baseline inbounds pass from Rajon Rondo or to help via a double-team. The pair probably sensed that Rondo might try to hit James rolling to the basket; after all, the Lakers only trailed by one. Also, it’s clear from the tape that Plumlee pointed for Grant to jump out on Davis:
Regardless of whether the bulk of the blame should fall on Plumlee, who’s averaging 7.2 points and 5.2 rebounds for the year, the former All-ACC Blue Devil became the subject of essentially all the ridicule on social media.
Unfair shots at Duke basketball’s NBA presence ensued
Since Plumlee’s embarrassment is linked to the clutch moment from Davis, a former Kentucky one-and-done, it’s not surprising that folks from Big Blue Nation used the blunder as an excuse to falsely paint NBA Blue Devils as a joke. For instance, as if forgetting Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum attended Duke, Rivals Kentucky recruiting writer David Sisk tweeted this jab:
“Kentucky players have dominated the NBA bubble, and I’m sure Duke is proud of……..Mason Plumlee.”
That it is. Not to mention the 26 other Blue Devils who played in the NBA this season.
Game 3 is set for 9 p.m. Tuesday (TNT).
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