Corporate Knowledge: February 9, 2012
Since the beginning of the Gregg Popovich era, the San Antonio Spurs have valued experience and system above all else. They refer to this as “Corporate Knowledge.” At 48 Minutes of Hell we too value experience, information, and insight on all things Spurs and look forward to providing you with links and quick-hitting analysis for your daily dose of Corporate Knowledge.
- We are long overdue on an updated scouting report on Tiago Splitter. The first bit of business is that his name is pronounced more like Che-ago, not Tee-ago, as the Express-News‘ Buck Harvey writes. The trick is in the Portuguese, which apparently Frenchman Tony Parker understands all too well.
“The coaching staff has always said Duncan is slow on pick-and-rolls. Splitter, in contrast, is one of the best these coaches have seen. He sets and rolls with timing and speed, along with hands to finish, and no one is more impressed than Parker.
“He’s always in a good position,” Parker said. “He’s got a good feel where to be. I don’t even have to talk to him.”
Parker said this with wide eyes, too: When Parker set his career high in assists last month in New Orleans, about half of them went to Splitter.”
- Tiago Splitter is displaying an impressive post game this season, but while he is drawing double teams it is not yet a weapon that dominates or makes teammates better, as Duncan’s did in the prime of his career.Splitter’s biggest strength remains in the pick and roll, where he sets good screens and dives hard enough to the basket with an acute sense of spacing that forces the defense to pick their poison. This in turn makes the shot creation deficient second unit improve around him, as we saw last night when Gary Neal looked like a point guard.Case in point, last night Splitter set a screen for Neal, who found himself wide open beyond the three-point line. The Philadelphia 76ers are a disciplined team that have found success due to their strict adherence to their system. I can assure you that in all the scouting reports Sixers coach Doug Collins provided, none of them said allow Gary Neal to dribble all alone at the three-point line.In a moment that required a split decision, the defense found Splitter rolling to the basket a bigger threat than the Spurs best three-point shooter.
- It took some time, but more and more national pundits are finally seeing the light in terms of “pure” point guards being overrated. Well, not overrated, but by far not the only choice (I said this in one of my first pieces here at 48MoH). Tom Ziller of SB Nation chimes in:
“It’s not hard to imagine that if Parker had fewer 30-point outbursts and more 12-assist games, no matter what the Spurs actually needed (which has usually been his scoring), he’d have earned more positive notoriety by this point. If there’s a bright light to be had, it’s that Parker is just 29, so there’s plenty of time for a Jason Kidd or Chauncey Billups style twilight, where Parker’s leadership and veteran savvy (two fuzzy but point guard-y ideals) can earn the respect his powerful performance has never managed to grab en masse.
Seeing Rose, styled in the mold of Parker, earn universal acclaim is a positive step forward in our collective reception to point guards who do not emulate Stockton or Cousy. But that Parker had to suffer while the league was blinded by Nash’s stylistic purity is unfortunate, and we can only hope that the Spurs’ continued power leads to more laurels for the Frenchman’s head.”
- TrueHoop’s Tom Sunnergren of Philadunkia assesses Tim Duncan v Elton Brand, a matchup of two former no. 1 overall picks whose verticals combined register as tiptoe:
“Watching Elton Brand on Tim Duncan—two guys who are still effective despite their verticals being roughly the same as my mom’s—was fun at least. Duncan has aged a bit better than Brand, and hasn’t been bitten quite as many times by the injury bug, but the two aging stars looked pretty evenly matched.”
- Sean Deveny of the Sporting News gives a rundown of all the no-name role players behind the San Antonio Spurs success this season.
- (Insider Only) Psst….ESPN’s John Hollinger has a secret for those of you not following the Spurs closely….these Spurs have been pretty damn good as of late. A key part to all of it? Player development. To the small contingent of Spurs fans that believe Popovich should be fired or taken to task for his lack of player development, Hollinger offers this:
“Go back and look at the histories of these Spurs players. With the exception of Neal, none went gangbusters immediately upon arrival. Ginobili came off the bench his first season despite having starred in Europe, and Splitter had a similar history overseas but hardly played at all in his first season. Green had been cut by San Antonio once; Hill saw limited duty as a rookie; and Jefferson’s first season in San Antonio was a major disappointment.
What they all have in common is steady improvement, not just in their stats but in figuring out their roles and how they fit into the larger picture. This franchise doesn’t just throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks; there’s a plan here, and the success in player development is the most outstanding example of it.”