Over the past year and a half, it's pretty well documented that lots of people are expecting us to let Tyler go because of one of many different reasons. Many point to the fact that he's just not very good, that he hasn't improved, maybe more specificially that he hasn't developed post moves. But despite having minutes taking off per game Tyler has been quietly having a very good season. I don't dare to comment on his jump shooting for fear of jinxing it, but despite having a terrible run in the beginning of the year he's working his FG% up. Many people point out that some execs thought Plumlee was like "another Foster." Well if you look at who's getting playing time the only place we get energy from on the roster is Hansbrough.
So he gets his 17 minutes per night, then goes out and averages 6.5 points and 4.4 rebounds a game. He is scoring his 6.5 ppg despite only averaging 4.4 attempts per contest and a career low 70% from the FT line. His per36 numbers are 14 pts/ 9.5 rebounds. Which means in short bursts he is as effective as any of our big men, and more efficient than any but David West. He averages almost 2 offensive rebounds per night, which means that between him, Hibbert, and Mahinmi we always have elite offensive rebounders on the floor. Also, his FG% is third on our team behind only Stephenson and West.
He may not have the elite athleticism, but he is as strong as an ox and he has a very quick 2nd and 3rd jump. How many times has he knocked out a ball a much longer and athletic defender had caught high up in the air, then quick jumped him to secure the rebound as it came down? He is strong and he has very good hands. He pulls down a rebound or two a night he has no business in securing.
He is even physical enough in his normal play to be an "enforcer" that so many people want on our team. No, he's not gonna go out there and pay back a hit with a dirty foul routinely. But whoever is guarding him will probably get inadvertantly popped in the mouth a couple of times because of his hard, herky-jerk style. He outworks the front line on the other team basically every night and fights for any loose ball remotely near him. He may get called for an offensive foul for aggressively positioning a night, but that is a much better turnover than the one lazy pass PG seems to throw every night.
His defense has improved and he is no longer the black hole we all hated from him in years past. I think that it's time we stop assuming that he's going to be gone and start hoping that other teams are too put off by his ugly play to give him more money than the Pacers can justify giving him.