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Mason Plumlee works on his shooting in Summer League

Nets' forward/center Mason Plumlee shoots a free throw

Nets' forward/center Mason Plumlee shoots a free throw against the Orlando Magic in the first half of an NBA basketball game at Barclays Center on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

ORLANDO, Fla. - Dig up old footage from a few years back Mason Plumlee insists, and the proof will explode on the screen in glorious color, evidence that he can indeed shoot and nail it from deep.

Honestly now.

"You'd laugh if you watched our high school team play," Plumlee, the Nets' 6-11 power forward, said. "I hit a couple of threes every game in high school. It was a big part [of my game]. We played like VMI. It was just run and gun, shoot it. You go back and look my high school. But things change.

"I get to Duke and they aren't looking at me to score. It's rebound, run the floor, put some weight on, get inside. So you just have to adjust. But it's something that can come back and I'm working at it. It's just going to take time."

Expanding -- or rediscovering in Plumlee's eyes -- his range and refining his outside shooting stroke is one of the reasons he's playing with the Nets' Summer League team. It's a way to foster his development following a surprising season capped with him garnering NBA all-rookie first-team honors.

At times this past season, it was as if Plumlee had a phobia anytime he ventured outside the paint on offense. Almost all of his 301 shots came inside the paint and he didn't connect on a single one from more than 8 feet out, going 0-for-11.

Now he's spent the first part of the offseason practicing his midrange jumper, honing it from about 15 feet away.

With assistant coach Roy Rogers as an aide, Plumlee has hoisted a bevy of corner jumpers and also put up his share from the elbow area, understanding those may be the looks he'll receive within the Nets' offensive flow, particularly if he's on the floor with Brook Lopez.

Since Lopez's season was cut short with a leg injury, the two only saw six minutes in two games on the floor together. If that increases in Plumlee's second season, there's little doubt teams will focus on keeping Lopez from backing into the lane, leaving room for Plumlee and creating some open looks. That's why he has to improve his offensive repertoire.

"Brook comes back and if I want to get on the floor, I'm going to have to knock down shots," Plumlee said. "It'll make me a better player."

He'll need to start reverting to his high school days, and ride the confidence that's slowly bubbling up within him this offseason, increasing a level of confidence that will grow as he gets opportunities to knock down some long balls in the flow of a game before action ends here Friday.

"My advantage is being aggressive and attacking the rim," Plumlee said. "But if I get in the game with Brook, I have to be able to knock down shots and I want to be able to do that.""Brook's a load and he demands a lot of attention," Plumlee added. "So, I think it could be a good thing if we played next to each other."


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