Tag Archives: Duke Basketball News

Duke at Florida State – It’s a Big One!

There is simply no other way to describe the Duke at Florida State game other than to say it's a big one! The ramifications of a win or loss will be far reaching, be it a tie at the top of the standings with North Carolina or third place. And then there is seeding for the fast approaching ACC Tournament in Atlanta and NCAA seeding implications per said outcome. Yes indeed, this is a terrific match up and one of those pins and needles games if you will that makes every possession and every play seem critical. That said, Blue Devil fans need to gather their collective mojo and channel it to the team.

That team of course has now won 5 straight ACC games since the upset loss to Miami in Cameron, including two instant classic games against local rivals North Carolina and North Carolina State. In the pre game interviews (see them on BDN) star freshman Austin Rivers, said Duke was playing great basketball and they are, but to put into perspective how hot Florida State is, well, they're 10- 1 in their last 11 games. That means something has to give this evening.

Duke is none too happy about losing to the Seminoles in Cameron but to focus on revenge is not always the magic potion needed for victory. The Blue Devils will be playing in a most hostile environment and keeping calm and cool will be a must. Weathering an early storm would be beneficial to the Duke efforts for Florida State is likely to try an intimidate the Blue Devils from the outset with their depth and athleticism.

The Seminoles are a mature and physical team, one which was a game away from the Elite 8  a season ago and lost but one significant player. After a slow start to the season, they asserted themselves and destroyed North Carolina 90-57 in the same venue the Blue Devils will play them in tonight. Close attention will be payed to Michael Snaer who hit a shot at the buzzer and is the conferences top three point shooter. In fact the Seminoles have the top three point field goal percentage in league play.

Another player Duke will watch closely is Bernard Hopkins, a versatile inside presence that is perhaps the leagues most overlooked player when talking All ACC. And yes, this games outcome will even effect votes for the All ACC where the ballots will soon be out. I know my votes can be swayed in tonights' game. But with Florida State, you cannot guard just a few players for they come at you in droves.

The Blue Devils will face the leagues top defense which is holding opponents to .375 from the field and while some perceive the Noles to struggle on offense they average the 5th most points in the league. That means, Duke will have to be very efficient on the offensive end while trying to remain even or so in the battle of the boards.

This will be one of the biggest games in FSU history in that they have a chance to win the ACC outright since they first joined the league. But this is also a big game for a youthful Blue Devils team, one which has reached deep of late and in the process found it's heart. This affair has instant classic written all over it going in but we'll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition.

In my opinion, slowing the Seminole guards and making sure there are limited second chance opportunities will be the key to winning. I also feel this game could come down to who hits their free throws and remains out of foul trouble. Seth Curry and Austin Rivers have been playing their best collective ball of the season of late and that play needs to continue.

The Blue Devils must also prepare for the physical play Florida State will likely play where they get their moneys worth on every bump or foul committed. Another good idea would be to take advantage when their defense over extends with some backdoor cuts. Anyhow, I think it best I leave the strategy in the capable hands of Coach Mike Krzyzweski who is 28-7 all time vs Florida State.

It's been rare that Duke loses three straight to anybody in the league under Krzyzewski, but with a loss that would be the case. But the Duke coach has worked an unusual roster to a 23-4 record. An interesting note is that the Blue Devils 8 losses to Florida State in the series have been by a total of 3.0 points per game which points to a close game this evening win or lose, but then again, remember the blowout of the Tar Heels.

Florida State is quite simply one of the hottest teams in the nation and they've been steadily moving up in the polls. This is a team looking to prove itself even more on the national scene and they're coming off a win over N.C. State in Raleigh where they crushed them in their own backyard after they played Duke to the wire.

So at the end of the evening in the Donald L. Tucker Center, one team will be tied with North Carolina and one team falls to third place and will likely be out of the race. Oddly, North Carolina fans should pull for Duke in that the Noles would win the tie breaker over them for the regular season title would they win out. But something tells me that their fan base might have a hard time doing that and will depend on the Noles to lose to Miami or Virginia on the road. Like I said, this is a huge game in many ways.

One more thing to be on the look out for is how much this game takes out of the Blue Devils win or lose in that they have a ridiculous turn around where they play Virginia Tech at noon on Saturday. And that leaves so little time to prepare and more importantly get some rest. That means we may see some bodies play tonight, but then again, maybe not and Krzyzewski will use his depth against the Hokies.

But these Blue Devils have showed no quit and I in no way expect to see that tonight. I see a very hard fought game on the horizon and I also feel the resilient Dukies will find a way to win but it will be close. The pick here is Duke 75-71

BDN Monday Musings – Happy Birthday Coach K, team tidbits

Happy Birthday Coach K!

The Duke Blue Devils Men's Basketball team had quite a week where they defeated arch rival North Carolina on Austin Rivers buzzer beater and then came back to defeat Maryland at home.  Last week, many fans were expecting doom and gloom but a week later, Duke is tied atop the conference going into an important battle with North Carolina State.  Monday Musings also wishes .....

Happy Birthday Mike Krzyzewski

That's right!  It's Coach K's birthday and I can only imagine how many fans would like to wish him a great birthday.  It's funny how it seems that fans  receive the best gift and that is simply having him captain the ship.  Duke fans have been very fortunate to have been a part of the on going ride he provides. 

Only six regular season games left

It's hard to believe how fast the season has gone by to date and with a mere six games left on the regular season schedule, it's time to slow down and enjoy every second left.  Too many times, fans get caught up in recruiting battles and other things that can wait and in the process suddenly realize it is spring and the season past them by.  Enjoy the here and now folks for this team is pretty good.

A closer look at the six remaining games

It starts with N.C. State this Thursday and this is a key game in the standings with Duke up just one game over the 7-3 Wolfpack..  Most remember UNC blowing the Pack out and think they're not up to the task of making a run at the upper division teams.  But a closer look, will show their losses were to Vanderbilt, Indiana, Stanford, Syracuse, North Carolina, Virginia and the one bad loss to Georgia Tech.  All but one of those losses are to respectable teams.  The Blue Devils then have two road games with Boston College and Florida State and the game with the Seminoles will almost certainly be critical to both teams quest at being the regular season champion.   Duke comes back home to take on Virginia Tech before embarking on their last road game at Wake Forest and end with rival North Carolina in a game that is 18 days away.  I think it is fair to say that the Rivers shot will be tucked away this week and their will be focus on the task at hand.  And just three home games remaining .... Following Duke Basketball is an everyday thing for many fans, but thinking there are just three games left in Cameron really makes me want to soak it all up.  Senior Day for Miles Plumlee is coming as is ESPN Gameday and it'll be the last games for a few Cameron Crazies as well.  Enjoy it while you can seniors! 

High priase for Tyler Thornton

There are times when a look at the boz score doesn't tell the entire story on a player and that is the case with Tyler Thornton.  "He's very mature as a sophomore and very comfortable in his role.  He's our toughest kid.  He's a Duke basketball player and our former players love Tyler," said Krzyzewski after Duke defeated Maryland 73-55 on Saturday.  If you go back and watch the UNC game again, check out how cool, calm and collected Thornton is down the stretch.  That's what Krzyzewski is talking about.  Thornton is cool under pressure and doesn't normally force plays which are not there.

Duke ranked 4th in the Nation in new Coaches Poll

The Duke Blue Devils jumped five spots in the ESPN Coaches poll which came out about an hour ago.   Here is the link.  North Carolina fell to 7th while Florida State drops to 21st and Virginia 22nd give the ACC four teams in the poll.  Duke is 5th in the A.P. poll flip flopping with Kansas.

Will so and so for Duke enter the NBA Draft

It doesn't matter who you ask on the team nor the year for you will get the same answer.  That being the player will look at his options after the season.  That's how it works at Duke.  Austin and Mason will get a few questions in the coming weeks but the answers will as always be the same.  I am not going to speculate either in that despite there being up to 15 games left should Duke reach the finals in New Orleans, a lot can happen between now and then.  It's always good to cheer for certain players as if it may be their last games in a Duke uniform but I am in no way dropping one of my infamous cryptic hints here but simply offering a suggestion.

One more time!  Get your tickets to the NCAA Tournament in Greensboro now!

I can't give you a 100% guarantee that Duke will play in Greensboro on March 16th and 18th, but I can tell you that it would shock me if they weren't there.  Remember, the Tar Heels will be there too in the pod system, so be smart and get your tickets right now before it is too late by going here Ticketmaster Greensboro.

 

Miles Plumlee hopes to build on 22 rebound effort

Sitting behind the Duke bench during the Blue Devils 73-55 victory over Maryland was a proud father who had just watched not one, but two sons produce double-doubles.  Perky Plumlee had that look of satisfaction on his face as he cracked his normally serious game face for a big grin and why not?

His eldest son, Duke senior Miles Plumlee had just grabbed an amazing 22 rebounds, the most of any player on a team Mike Krzyzewski has coached.  "Miles  was fabulous. That's the most rebounds any player has ever had that I have coached in 37 years in a ball game, and I told Miles, I have coached some pretty good players," Krzyzewski stated in his post game press conference.

The hope is that Plumlee will build on this performance and bring consistent play down the stretch as March will soon be upon us.  With just six regular season games left and three of those at home, maybe that is in the back of the seniors mind. 

Krzyzewski alluded to the fact that (Miles) Plumlee was great today and while he would not put pressure on Plumlee, he did mention him in the same breath as Brian Zoubek who played a huge role in helping Duke win the 2010 National Championship.

There are times when the light just comes on for players and if Plumlee were to bring half the rebounds he grabbed against Maryland to the table the rest of the way, it would be a good thing for Duke.

"I know I have the potential to be a great asset to this team," said Plumlee who then stated, "I just have to be consistent and play strong every night and that's something I can do."

The mere fact that Plumlee has grabbed more rebounds in a single game than any other player in the ACC this season is impressive.  And Plumlee has the athleticism and size to be a major factor in coming games.

With wo straight double-doubles recorded by Plumlee it makes for a good start to stepping up his game as did the aforementioned Zoubek.  And one must also remember that he was on that title team and saw up close and person what it takes to make a run at the ultimate prize.

On a day when it was hard to get up for the task at hand after a rousing and classic win over arch rival North Carolina, Miles Plumlee answered the bell and Duke fans can only hope that the comparisons to Zoubek continue.

Many Blue Devils fans voiced their displeasure with the new Nike duds on social media networks but it seems Miles took to them just fine.  In fact, one might consider letting him wear that jersey underneath which ever other one he chooses the rest of the season.

Austin Rivers wins ACC Rookie of the Week, again!

Austin us a showe in for ACC Rookie of the Year - Rick Crank Photo

DURHAM, N.C. – Austin Rivers was named ACC Rookie of the Week for the league-leading sixth time this season, tying former Blue Devil Luol Deng for the most weekly league rookie selections in ACC history.

A 6-4, 200-pound guard from Winter Park, Fla. (Winter Park), Rivers averaged 19.0 points per game last week, scoring 18 in a 75-60 road win at Virginia Tech and 20 in a 78-74 home overtime loss to Miami. He has scored in double figures a team-leading 19 times and logged his fifth 20-point game of the season against the Hurricanes.

Rivers’ six selections tie six others, including Deng, for the third most ACC Rookie of the Week awards in league history. North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough and Georgia Tech’s Kenny Anderson share the ACC record with 10 selections apiece. Rivers has won his six awards in 13 weeks.

Against the Hokies, Rivers hit a career-high four three-pointers while also dishing out five assists. He followed that performance by playing a career-high 43 minutes against Miami, sinking 20 points while picking off two steals.

Rivers leads Duke and all ACC freshmen with 14.5 points per game and 31.5 minutes per game. He is on pace to become the first freshman to lead Duke in scoring since Johnny Dawkins averaged 18.1 points per game in 1982-83.

Rivers and the Blue Devils take on Tobacco Road rival North Carolina this Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Chapel Hill, N.C., at 9 p.m.

A team victory for Duke

It was a sunny afternoon this past Wednesday on the Duke campus and at first glance it seemed business as usual, but parked in front of Cameron was a bus which would take the Duke Mens Basketball team to Blacksburg.  There would be no flight or luxuries past and even the traditional ice cream spread the evening before the game was gone, for this team was putting away all distractions, including the use of social media.

The Duke Blue Devils took a long bus ride to Blacksburg, Virginia after a tough couple of practices and a new found focus helped them to a 75-60 victory over Virginia Tech.  After allowing St. John's to make a comeback where a sizable lead was blown, the Blue Devils went into "Circle the Wagon," mode and whatever Krzyzewski did behind the scenes, prompted Duke to an easy team victory.

Once Duke adjusted to the way the game was being called, they took the crowd out of the game in the first half, working their way to a comfortable 10 point lead.   And from that point they never looked back on their way to an ACC win which would keep Duke in a three way tie for first place.

There were several signs in the air which went unnoticed by some in the media and fan base, that Duke was in a bit of a lock down mode.  Krzyzewski made no bones about that fact that he was not too pleased with the Blue Devils performances of late and that he more or less thought they'd become, pampered, fat and happy.  There was no media day this week where one could get player quotes and it would not surprise me if he didn't go as far as to lock his team out of their cozy facilities as he has done on rare occasion in seasons past.

Whatever was said or done, the Blue Devils seemed rejuvenated and in the process played with intensity from the opening tip until the end, committing a mere 7 turnovers and they constantly battled with intensity from opening tip until buzzers end.

Austin Rivers played perhaps his best overall game at Duke scoring 18 points to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal.  Rivers went an efficient 7 0f 11 from the floor, 4 of 6 being beyond the three point stripe to lead the Blue Devils in scoring.

It was an ACC Rookie of the Week performance by Rivers whose production level proved extremely efficient.  But this was a team win in every way where numerous players contributed where Duke got 34 points from it's bench.  Of course, the Blue Devils had shaken their lineup up, but it was still the workman like togetherness that helped Duke to the easy win.

One of the players who came off the bench was Ryan Kelly who was replaced by Josh Hairston in a lineup change.  Kelly responded with 15 points and 4 rebounds while Hairston finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds in 15 minutes of play.

Seth Curry was another junior that came off the bench and he tallied 11 points including 6 of 6 from the free throw stripe.  In fact, the team knocked down 13 of 16 attempts and that was a key factor in the win making one think this was an area of emphasis of late.

Duke also outscored the Hokies by a 38-26 margin in the paint and Mason Plumlee had a lot to do with that adding 10 points, 6 rebounds and the only two blocks of the game for Duke.  His brother Miles, added 4 points and 5 boards in just 9 minutes of play.

And every other player for Duke added something as well.  For Andre Dawkins it was his big trey in the first half and his questionable technical foul seemed to fire up the Blue Devils even more.  Dawkins and Duke were so pumped up that Krzyzewski had to calm them during one timeout. 

Quinn Cook dished three dimes and added a couple of key buckets keeping the lead at a comfortable margin while the Hokies tried to stage several comeback efforts in nine minutes of burn.  And Tyler Thornton added his steadying influence which doesn't always translate to the box score.  Again, this was a team victory for the Blue Devils who sit a single win away from yet another 20 win season with the Mimi Hurricanes coming to town on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Blue Devils were never rattled in Blacksburg despite a very hostile and vocal home crowd and after taking a double digit lead as the 1st half ended, they never looked back.  I doubt Duke will be taking a bus on too many more trips other than next Wednesday's game in Chapel Hill with arch rival North Carolina, but maybe they've learned what it takes to compete at the level it will take the rest of the way this season and have gotten back to the kind of hard nosed Duke Basketball Coach Krzyzewski and the fans love to see.

Game Notes - (courtesy of Duke Sports Information)

Duke 75, Virginia Tech 60
Thursday 02/02/2012 - Duke Sports Information

Team Notes:
• Duke improved to 38-8 in the all-time series against Virginia Tech and has won 16 of the last 19 games. The Blue Devils are now 9-3 against the Hokies under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
• After falling 64-60 to the Hokies in Cassell Coliseum last season, the Blue Devils came away with a 15-point victory in Blacksburg. Duke has lost to just one team – Wake Forest in 2004 & 2005, and again in 2008 & 2009 – on the road in back-to-back seasons since the 2003-04 season began.
• With sophomore forward Josh Hairston making his first career start tonight, Coach K has used seven different starting lineup combinations in the last nine games. Mason Plumlee is the only player to have started every game during that span. Plumlee has started 43 consecutive games.
• In a game that featured the ACC’s top two three-point shooters, Duke’s Ryan Kelly topped Virginia Tech’s Jarell Eddie by finishing 2-of-4 from the three-point line and 15 total points. Eddie went 0-of-5 from three-point range and scored just six points. Entering the game, Eddie led the ACC in three-point shooting percentage (minimum 50 attempts) with a .493 (37-of-75) mark, while Kelly ranked second with a .472 (25-of-53) percentage.
• The Blue Devils held Eddie without a three-point field goal for only the sixth time this season. Eddie had connected on a trey in 12 of the Hokies’ last 13 games.
• Virginia Tech, which ranks 45th nationally in scoring defense, is the seventh opponent that Duke has faced this season that ranks among the NCAA’s top-50 in that category. The Blue Devils have are 6-1 and have outscored each of those opponents’ defensive scoring averages in those games.
• With the score tied at 21-21, Duke embarked on a 17-7 scoring run over the final 7:13 of the first half to stake a 38-28 lead. Kelly scored seven points for Duke during that run, hitting a layup and a dunk on consecutive possessions and then knocking down a three-pointer to increase the lead to 32-23. The Blue Devils maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
• Duke held Virginia Tech without a field goal over a 5:40 minute span from 8:15 to 2:35 in the first half.
• Duke continued its improved free throw shooting, finishing 13-of-16 from the line. The Blue Devils have shot 75.0 percent or better from the free throw line in six of their last eight games.
• Duke forced Virginia Tech into committing 13 turnovers while holding the Hokies to five assists. Duke amassed 12 assists and made only seven turnovers.
• With 33 rebounds to Virginia Tech’s 29, the Blue Devils outrebounded their fifth straight opponent. Duke holds a +3.3 rebounding margin per game.
• Duke improved to 9-2 when playing outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.

Player Notes:

Seth Curry
• In a return to Blacksburg, where his father Dell starred for the Hokies from 1982-86 and went on to play 16 years in the NBA, Curry scored 11 points on two field goals and a perfect 6-of-6 performance from the free throw line.
• Extended his consecutive made free throw streak to 14. Curry ranks second in the ACC with a .887 free throw shooting percentage. That would rank sixth on Duke’s single-season leaderboard if he can reach the 100 made free throws threshold.
• Defensively, helped to hold Virginia Tech guard Jarell Eddie to just six points and an 0-of-5 performance from the three-point line.

Andre Dawkins
• Hit his only three-point attempt of the game. Dawkins leads Duke with 50 three-pointers on the year.

Josh Hairston
• Made his first career start and played 15 minutes.
• Scored six points on 3-of-6 shooting. Threw down his second dunk of the season on a second-half alley-oop from Austin Rivers.
• Also contributed three rebounds, including two on the offensive end. On the season, Hairston has more offensive boards (20) than defensive (13).

Ryan Kelly
• Scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the fifth straight game. Kelly is averaging 15.0 points per game during that streak.
• Improved his team-leading three-point percentage to .474 by shooting 2-of-4 from three-point range. Kelly leads the ACC in three-point percentage (minimum 50 attempts), surpassing Virginia Tech guard Jarell Eddie whose shooting percentage fell to .463 (37-80) with an 0-for-5 performance tonight.

Mason Plumlee
• Made his 43rd consecutive start. Duke is 36-7 during that 43-game streak.
• Recorded two blocks, increasing his career total to 126. Plumlee ranks ninth on Duke’s all-time blocks list, trailing Josh McRoberts (2005-07) by two blocks for eighth place.
• Scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the third straight game. Plumlee has scored at least 10 points in four of Duke’s six ACC games.

Austin Rivers
• Scored in double figures for the team-leading 18th time this season and led Duke in scoring for the team-leading ninth time.
• Knocked down a career-high four three-pointers, finishing 4-of-6 from three-point range. Rivers hit three of his treys in a row.
• Dished out a team-leading five assists while committing just two turnovers. Rivers has 13 assists over his last three games, averaging 4.3 helpers during that span.
• Had his most efficient shooting performance of the season, finishing 7-of-11 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the three-point line. The .636 shooting percentage from the floor was the highest mark of his career.
• Matched a career high with five rebounds. Rivers has grabbed at least three rebounds in five consecutive games.

Duke at Virginia Tech Game Notes

• Game 22 •

[7 AP / 5 Coaches] Duke (18-3, 5-1) vs. Virginia Tech (12-9, 1-5)

Thursday, February 2, 2012 • 7:03 p.m. • ESPN

The Opening Tip

• Duke (18-3, 5-1) faces Virginia Tech (12-9, 1-5) on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.. Tipoff is set for 7:03 p.m.

• Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Len Elmore (analyst) and Jeannine Edwards (sideline) will call the game for ESPN.

• Duke is ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Virginia Tech is unranked in both polls. The Blue Devils are 77-20 all-time when ranked seventh in the AP Poll.

• Duke ranks No. 1 in Strength of Schedule and No. 2 in RPI according to ESPN.com. The Blue Devils are one of four teams (Syracuse, Michigan State & Kansas) in the NCAA to rank in the top 10 of the RPI, Strength of Schedule, AP and Coaches Polls.

• The Blue Devils have won three straight ACC road contests and are 8-2 away from Cameron Indoor Stadium this season.

Duke-Virginia Tech Series

• Duke and Virginia Tech have met 45 times heading into Thursday’s game with the first meeting between the two schools coming in 1912.

• The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 37-8, including a 3-2 mark at Cassell Coliseum.

• Duke has won 15 of the last 18 in the series.

• Mike Krzyzewski is 8-3 at Duke against the Hokies. The Blue Devils are 3-2 in Blacksburg under Krzyzewski.

• Duke has won three of the last four games at Cassell Coliseum in the series.

• Six of the last 10 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

• Duke won 10 straight games in the series from 1934-1948. Virginia Tech has won back-to-back games once in the series history.

• Duke has held Virginia Tech to less than 70 points in eight consecutive meetings. The Hokies are averaging 61.4 points per game in that span.

Numbers Game

l Duke has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll for 87 straight weeks, the third-longest streak in NCAA history.

l The Blue Devils are one of nine teams in the NCAA with five or more players averaging 10 or more points per game. Duke has finished the year with five double-figure scorers six times under Mike Krzyzewski.

l Duke is the only school in the ACC with five players averaging over 11.0 points per game in league play. Ryan Kelly (13.7), Andre Dawkins (13.0), Austin Rivers (12.0), Mason Plumlee (11.7) and Seth Curry (11.5) each rank in the top 25 in the ACC in scoring through six league games.

l The Blue Devils rank 11th nationally in scoring at 80.3 points per game, despite facing six opponents that rank in top 50 in scoring defense. Virginia Tech is the seventh team Duke has faced that allows under 62.0 points per game.

l The Blue Devils are two wins shy of their 16th consecutive 20-win season.

l Mason Plumlee was named the USBWA National Player of the Week after averaging 19.0 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in wins over Maryland and St. John’s.

l Austin Rivers, a five-time ACC Rookie of the Week pick, is averaging a team-high 14.1 points per game. Johnny Dawkins was the last Blue Devil freshman to lead the team in scoring in 1983.

l Mason Plumlee collected his ACC-leading ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and a career-best 17 rebounds in Saturday’s win over St. John’s. He has collected 12 or more rebounds in a game 13 times this season.

l Andre Dawkins is averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, while shooting 46.5 percent (20-of-43) from three-point range, over the last five contests.

l Ryan Kelly ranks second in the ACC in three-point percentage among players who have attempted at least 50 threes. He is shooting 47.2 percent (25-of-53) from three-point range on the season, including 51.9 percent (14-of-27) over the last 12 games.

l Mason Plumlee and Miles Plumlee combine to average 15.8 rebounds per game. One of the Plumlees has led the team in rebounds in 19 of 21 games.

l Tyler Thornton leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.7:1) through six conference games. He has 20 assists with just three turnovers in ACC play for the Blue Devils.

l Mason Plumlee has improved his free throw shooting over the last four games, going 20-of-27 (.741) from the line during that span. He was shooting 39.8 percent (37-of-93) from the free throw line prior to that stretch. Plumlee averages 5.7 free throw attempts per game