Layne Murdoch Jr./NBA
Season in Review: Jeremy Tyler
Statistically Speaking: Played in 41 games (9.7 mpg). Averaged 13.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Year in Review: Timing was an issue for Tyler all season. After catching the coaching staff’s eye by flashing his immense potential for the Knicks’ Summer League entry in Las Vegas, he spent the next few months working his way back from a broken foot. By the time he had recovered, so too had Tyson Chandler from the broken leg he suffered just a few games into the season.
With Chandler back, Amar’e Stoudemire on the verge of his healthiest season since 2010-11 and fellow big man Cole Aldrich making strides as a solid rebounder and rim protector, Tyler faced an uphill battle for minutes. In limited action, he did showcase the athleticism and shooting touch after joining the club just after the new year.
But after waiting his turn, he busted out in his 10th game, a blowout win in Boston. In 23 minutes, he connected on 7-of-9 shots for 17 points, with five rebounds and two blocks. Over the next few weeks, he delivered his best performances of the year as a reliable big off the bench while the Knicks began their second-half surge.
Season Highlight: The offensive explosion in Boston was not only a season best, but a sign of how dominant he has the potential to be; not many players his size can move like he does and score in so many different ways. He can run the court, finish at the rim or step back and knock down jumpers. Players with such upside will always get chances to play, but producing results like he did from late January through mid February –- during which he averaged 7.6 points (on 56.4 percent shooting) and 4.6 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game -- could go a long way toward establishing him as a rotation-caliber NBA big man.
Looking Ahead: Tyler ran into some tough luck with injuries and established veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, but how he responds to his experience this season will be crucial to his success going forward. He made strides on both ends of the floor and has a bright future ahead if he can continue to refine his game as he enters his age-23 season. He shot 50 percent (12-for-24) from 10-16 feet this season and if he can get stronger and refine his footwork, he has a chance to become a devastating weapon in the pick-and-roll.