Plumlee Giving Suns Elite Rim Protection

Barry Gossage/NBAE

When it comes to rim protectors, Miles Plumlee is one of the most called-upon big men in the league. The second-year big man and first-year starter contests 10.1 field goal attempts at the rim per game, according to SportVU player tracking, fourth-most in the league.

Part of that is intentional. Plumlee’s athleticism and timing have made him the sixth-best shot blocker in the league (2.0 bpg), and the Suns often funnel defenders toward him, especially on the baseline where kick-out passes are more difficult to complete.

“He’s been a great force for us of not letting a lot of easy buckets when guys get to the basket,” said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. “Guys are aware of him.”

While Hornacek lauds the big man’s defense, he thinks it can get even better as he recognizes when less is more when an opponent invades the paint.

“Sometimes we have to tell him don’t try to block every shot,” Hornacek said. “You go jumping at a guy when you have no chance of blocking it, now you’re out of rebounding position. He’s learning.”