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Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012

Warriors' Tyler making strides in rookie season

Staff writer

Like any NBA rookie, Jeremy Tyler faces a series of huge adjustments in his daily life on and off the court.

To put things in perspective, Golden State Warriors beat writer Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle offered some insight on the rookie forward and former Tokyo Apache player in a recent email to The Japan Times.

"I think Jeremy is adjusting well to NBA life, aided by having a brother in Cupertino, California, and having already experienced some pro ball," Simmons wrote.

"He's not getting much playing time, and I'm interested in seeing how he handles that. He's already said he doesn't want to go to the NBA Development League, which could be the best place to get minutes, but he might change his mind.

"As for the future, I think Jeremy is a decent prospect. He's shorter than I expected and he came into camp out of shape, but he is an extreme athlete and has a long wingspan. If he keeps working hard, which is a huge if, I think he could become a serviceable NBA player."

Former Apache coach Bob Hill, who has guided four NBA teams, believes Tyler, who played for him last season in the bj-league, has made a good impression so far during the lockout-shortened campaign.

"Jeremy has seen very little (playing) time so far, but is working hard to get more minutes," Hill said. "He stayed in shape during the lockout, which has helped him so far. Their team is not real competitive, which could help him get more time as the season moves forward."

The Warriors are 3-7 through Thursday.

A year ago, Tyler, now 20, was getting ready to participate in the bj-league All-Star Game's Slam Dunk Contest in Osaka. His family friend, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf of the Kyoto Hannaryz, was there to compete in the 3-Point Shootout.

Now, less than a month into his NBA career, Tyler is learning to watch the action from the bench and wait for his chance to enter games. His longest appearance to date was 3 minutes, 11 seconds in a New Year's Eve game against the Philadelphia 76ers. In five games, he's averaging 0.4 points, 0.8 fouls and 1.36 minutes.

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