We all know Tyreke can seemingly get to the rim at will. It's happened plenty of times. The opposing team tries to play him 1-on-1, and he simply blows by them to the hoop for a layup. He gets layups in crunch time with the game on the line. This is by far his biggest offensive weapon, and opposing teams have devoted their entire teams defensive game plans to stopping him from getting to the paint.
What you might not know about Tyreke however, is that he gets to the rim more than any player in the entire league. Every single one.
After the jump, the stats.
According to Hoopdata, Tyreke averages 8.3 attempts at the rim, about .7 more than the player in 2nd place, Zach Randolph. He's also 1st in the league in makes at the rim at 5.0 a game (tied with LeBron). More attempts and makes than every single big man in the league.
And what's even more unique about Tyreke is how much his scores at the rim are unassisted, unlike big men and explosive players like LeBron who throw down alley oops on a regular basis. Tyreke is only assisted on 24.7% of his makes around the rim, while LeBron is at about 48.1%. The only other player in the top 40 of Attempts at the rim with less % of his makes that are assisted is Russell Westbrook at 21.2% (Attempts 5.7 FG at the rim a game). The other guards in the top 40? Wade (7.2 attempts, 33.4% assisted), Ellis (6.7 attempts, 36.4% assisted), Stephen Jackson (6.1 attempts, 55.4% assisted), Stuckey (5.9 attempts, 29.8% assisted), Rose (5.6 attempts, 35.1% assisted), Rondo (5.4 attempts, 33.3% assisted), and Tony Parker (5.2 attempts, 27.7% assisted).
Scores at the rim are the most efficient in basketball, and the fact that Tyreke can get so many of them is in part what makes him such a special player, especially when he's doing it as a rookie, with a still iffy jump shot. When he gets that jump shot going, all it will do is lead to more attempts at the rim, since teams won't be able to pack the paint on him. This will also lead to more makes, and a higher field goal percentage. There really won't be a way to guard him unless you're an exceptional man defender like Shane Battier.
Another result of getting to the rim a lot is drawing fouls, something he'll get even better at with more experience, and eventual ref bias. He's already 18th in the league in FTAs at 6.5 a game, and you have to go all the way to 87th in the league to find the 2nd place rookie, Brandon Jennings (3.5 FTA). Getting opposing players and teams into foul trouble and getting to the line will lead to a lot of easy points.
These statistics to me are the most telling of the future, and of the current rookie of the year argument. No other rookie does something so good as to have entire opposing teams focus their entire defense on it. No other rookie demands this much respect.
No other rookie is as good.