Tiago Splitter is frustrated, patient

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48MoH reader Rick Ashford (Twitter: @darthzen) passed along a link to this interview with Tiago Splitter by Bala na Cesta ahead of the Spurs’ game against the Denver Nuggets in late December. It was Splitter’s first game as a Spur that was broadcast back in Brazil; Nuggets center Nene is also from Brazil.

There were some interesting tidbits in this interview that paint Splitter as a player who is frustrated in his transition from star player in Spain to role player in South Texas, but one who understands where he is in the pecking order and trusts the voices around him. (Updated translation courtesy of Rick.)

Bala na Cesta: Speaking of getting on the court, the beginning of the season has been a little difficult, hasn’t it?

Splitter: Yes, it has. The key word for me right now is patience, mainly because I have no other option. The first word is patience, the second as well, the third, and fourth is the same thing. It doesn’t work to come here, to the NBA, and throw a tantrum, right? I’m not used to spending so much time on the bench, but that’s part of my apprenticeship, and I’m certain I’m on the right path.

BnC: You expected it to be as complicated as this?

Splitter: Man, I’ll be honest. When I came here, lots of people said, “Tiago, your first year is going to be thankless. Oberto came from Europe and spent the season on the bench, before playing a fundamental role in the Spurs championship the next year.” And it’s not that I didn’t believe it, but you always hope for things to go well for you, right? But this happened with Manu, with Fabricio Oberto, and it’s happening with me. It takes patience, calm, and perseverance. I can already feel some of the differences between the European game and the one here, primarily in the refereeing. The one-on-one play here, there’s not as much contact allowed here as in Europe, and things start to get difficult. Here the key word is positioning. And here everybody knows how to play, everyone stands out, everyone can kill it. It’s impressive!

Splitter isn’t far off in this assessment. Manu played about 20 minutes per game as a rookie and started just five games. In his second season, Ginobili’s minutes jumped to 29 per game. Like Splitter, Ginobili joined the Spurs with a nagging injury from international play, as Ginobili sprained an ankle at the 2002 FIBA World Championships.

But Splitter is not playing near as many minutes in his rookie year as Ginobili did. Splitter is averaging 11.5 minutes per game in 27 appearances (out of 37 games) this year. Well, I’ve got news for you: Ginobili is a freak of nature. He’s a future Hall of Famer. He’s special. One could argue that Splitter’s lack of playing time thus far proves more about Ginobili as a player than it does Tiago.

Splitter’s PT as a rookie compares more favorably to Oberto, who many people compared Tiago’s skill set to coming into this season. As a 30-year-old rookie, Oberto averaged 8.3 minutes per game in 59 appearances for San Antonio. In Fab’s second season, his minutes jumped to 17.3 minutes per game. Oberto played in 79 games and started in 33 of them.

Oberto never averaged more than 20 minutes per game in a season while he was in the NBA. The most he averaged was exactly 20 per game in 2007-08. This may the career arc we can more likely expect from Splitter.

BnC: Speaking of Popovich, lots of folks in Brazil have criticized the guy because he hasn’t given you time on the court.

Splitter: No, no this isn’t right. He has four NBA titles, we have the best record in the league, and I’m still adapting here. He did the same with Manu, with Oberto, and with so many others, and I think it’s part of the way he works. You have to respect, understand, and try to follow what they are preparing me for. Popovich is a guy that is always preoccupied with me, asking me about everything, wanting to know if I’m feeling well. I can’t complain about anything.

Not exactly throwing his coach under the bus, is he? Assuming still feels the same way almost three weeks later, this has to be a good sign that Splitter trusts the process and is willing to put in the work behind the scenes to earn his place.

BnC: You would also agree with the theory that even with the little bit of court time you’ve had, you haven’t played very well?

Splitter: I think that things couldn’t be more different for me. At Baskonia, all the plays went through me, and on the majority of those the decision-making was mine. Here, I’m a supporting player, the roles changed, everything changed. The transition has been very complicated, but I know that in two to three years I’ll be able to have a starring role on the team, with plays designed for me, for example. At this moment, while the team is winning, I only think about coming in and maintaining the good state of the team.

This may be one of the more underrated aspects of Tiago Splitter’s lack of playing time that we’re not emphasizing enough. In Spain, Splitter was The Man. Everything ran through him. He was the the Spanish league regular season and finals MVP.

But that’s obviously not the case in San Antonio. He’s pretty far down the totem pole with the Spurs. Luckily, his skills translate to becoming a solid role player (defense, setting picks, etc.). It’s not like his best attribute is as a volume scorer or anything, but we have to also take into account the mental transition to becoming a role player.

A good chunk of Splitter’s interview with Bala na Cesta was copied-and-pasted here, but go read the whole thing (as best you can). There’s some good stuff there, and I get the impression that Splitter expresses himself better in his native language than he can talking to anyone in English.

  • Mo

    No disrespect to Oberto. I personally am disappointed with the repeated comparison to Fabricio. After all the hype, I hope he does not turn into just another Oberto. With Duncan vacating his spot, we need another star player not merely a team player who just fills the right spot after setting picks. Nothing wrong with that in a team sport but our expectations I thought was much higher. Again I do not mean player with flashy throw-downs or a media darling but just one who plays Spurs ball and attracts double/triple teams.

    Fab despite his positioning used to short hand most of his jumpers and was offensively challenged. Please don’t remind me of his career night of 12 for 12 FGs. In a league of increasing offense, I hope we are not satisfied with an Oberto level play and consider ourselves lucky.

  • Guilherme

    This automatic Google translation is very, very funny. I’m from Brazil, by the way.

  • Tim

    http://www.acb.com/redaccion.php?id=72993

    Interview after the Knick’s game.

  • AS

    If you want, I can help you on the next translation from portuguese (or spanish). Google made a good job, but there are some mistakes.

    Anyway, I dont agree with this part: “his skills translate to becoming a solid role player”

    The MVP of the Spanish league, one of the strongest leagues of Europe, and All-Euroleague First Team for the Euroleague 2007-08 season, will be a “solid role player”?

    This is not underrating international players, isnt it?

    Think Luis Scola.

  • Manny Calavera

    @AS

    I don’t think it’s saying that Splitter is limited to being a “solid role player” indefinitely. I think the point is more that, until he really adjusts to the NBA and gets a bigger role, he also happens to have a skillset which allows him to be a solid role player in the meantime.

    If you think about Luis Scola (a guy the Spurs should never have sent away), he has become a very nifty volume scorer for Houston, but he was a role player initially. Houston didn’t need a volume scorer when they had Yao in the post. The Spurs have a go to post player in Duncan. Duncan may not score 20 ppg, but he does still command the vast majority of the post touches.

    I think that interview highlights both Splitter’s patience AND his supreme confidence. I read it as saying that he is happy to play a role on a winning team now, but that in a few years, he could see the team playing more through him. And as he becomes more familiar with the NBA game, where everyone is “killing the ball”, and as Duncan rides off into the sunset, I don’t see why that’s not possible.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    I feel the same way I felt in 2007 when Tiago went from a sure-fire lottery pick in 2006, to a certain lottery pick in 2007, to a Spurs player at the bottom of the 1st Round. God loves the Spurs.

    We have snatched multiple players, picking in the late 1st and 2nd rounds over the last decade, who all deserved to be lottery picks and we had no business winding up with based on where we are choosing.

    Parker, Ginobili, Hill, Blair, Splitter, Anderson – not to mention FAs like Neal, this is just a sound reminder of the value of having a top notch scouting staff with the high IQ we have here in San Antonio.

    We are damn lucky to have the talent we have here, Splitter and Anderson will both flourish under Pop’s system….they both have gifts that they have flashed, however brief the glimpses have been but you can believe that they will both be in starring roles for San Antonio!

  • ITGuy

    In the interview from the link Tim posted, Tiago talks about how the Spurs have a project for him and that the Spurs know that he may not reach his playing potential this year but that they do count on him for the future. He’s pleased to be here in San Anotnio. He is also aware of Pop’s tradition of not playing rookies. He didn’t mention any thing about being frustrated though.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • JayC

    remember when tony parker was turned down by pop the first time spurs got him? pop told tony that he was a great player except he lacked confidence in himself? many and tony didn’t explode the first season with the spurs…but they IMPROVED the next year…and the year after that…and the year after that.
    tony never called any plays, it was always pop that called the plays (four and one-post to TD)…but given the time and patience and the hard work the pop is looking for, Splitter will rock the NBA. it just wont happen over night.

  • BigJ

    Part of Tiago’s development is linked to the second year development of RJ, McDyess, and Blair. Remove their increased 2nd year strength and Tiago sees his minutes increased.
    The team’s offense adjustments have also given stronger emphasis to the perimeter game (at this time). Tiago’s minutes certainly divet from there too.
    All this said, he should remain confident that the latter part of the season and playoff’s will see an increased roll for him. It’s hard to imagine a playoff scenario (maybe Phoenix last year) where Tiago’s presence would not benefit the team. Once the post season style of play starts he should definitely see increased play time especially from the post as his game and if anything, fouls, may be needed.
    We also haven’t seen a significant injury from the front court aside from his own injury earlier in the season. Should one arise for a team mate there would definitely be an increase in his on court contribution.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Tiago Splitter is both frustrated and patient as a rookie -- Topsy.com()

  • AS

    @ Manny Calavera

    Did you read my mind?

    BTW, I have total confidence in Pop’s development plans, but it would have been nice to have Tiago ready for this season playoffs.

  • TD = BEST EVER

    I think Oberto is a GREAT comparison for Splitter. GO back in look at what Scola did his 1st year… A year in which Houston was the 4th seed I believe…… Scola was 10 and 7……. and just now after 4 years is close to being a franchise level player…. Scola is now 30….. So we can expect a slightly less from Splitter. Now there are few circumstances where I’m wrong. And Splitter does fit into one of those. But most times you can see year one how good a player can be. You will see flashes when everything is working for them.
    Splitter hasn’t been given the time to show all he can do, but you have to think that with what we are getting from Blair/Bonner, that he can’t do much worse can he.

    So I think he is better than Oberto, but mot as good as Scola, who still isn’t a player that you would want to build a team around(if he were on our team now we would basically just be vastly upgrading Bonner..ie no D)….unless you want to build a team similar to what Houston has now. Where you really don’t have a head, but just a lot of really smart players who can win games, but need a Top 20 talent to take the next step.

    A front line of Blair/Splitter isn’t going to cut it in the West, not now, not ever…. you have to add some more size, height, and athleticism. So lets see what he can bring, but get ready to pull the string on a trade that sends a way Blair or 1st rounder to get the Big that we need for the future.

  • Gebo

    As a Spur fan I think more of the responsibility for Splitter’s short minutes should fall on Splitter. He has known for 3 1/2 years that he was coming to the NBA and that he would have to be bigger and stronger than he is. A healthy young man who dedicates the time, energy, and focus in the weight room can completely rebuild his body in 3 1/2 years. It didn’t happen. I’ve never read a word about Splitter going to a “big man’s camp”, or working with a Patrick Ewing or Abdul Jabbar type hour upon hour, day after day, year after year. I think his post game is weak for the same reason his body is weak. He has not put in the time, energy and focus to make it strong. If he had prepared himself for the NBA he would be playing bigger minutes in the NBA. He appears to be a good young man who is obviously a skilled basketball player. If he had put in the work that was needed before he got here he would be in a much stronger position now. I hope he reaches his potential. We are going to need him or someone like him.

  • mybloodissilverandblack

    We all are frustrated because of this situation.

    This is one of the few bad things about how the Spurs operate: taking certain players for granted. Here is a list:

    Leandro Barbosa. Spurs traded him on draft day to the Suns for a sack of bananas. Man, WHAT IF…

    The Dragic-Hairston situation. Man, them Silver and Black love to give it away to the Suns. Look at who won the deal and whose ass got bit by whom. Surprise.

    Luis Scola. No need to expound.

    Will Splitter be one of these guys? Hopefully not, but he sure is on the right track towards it.

  • Rick Ashford

    For those who are interested, I did a manual translation of the interview:
    ——————————————-

    You can’t quite say that Tiago Splitter is tranquil. In an interview with Bala na Cesta (Ball in the Basket) is Tuesday night, he repeated several times the word, “patience,” which is what he needs at the moment given how little he is playing for the San Antonio Spurs. Without further delay, let’s shoot the breeze with the center for the Texas team, who doesn’t even like to say that the injury suffered in the pre-season hurts him now in getting time on the court (“That’s already in the past. I can’t bother thinking about it. I have to keep my eye on the present”).

    BALA: Today will be the first game of yours televised in Brazil. Are you anxious about the matchup against Denver, against Nené?

    TIAGO: I think it’ll be a pretty awesome game, primarily because last week I couldn’t play against Nené because of a groin injury. If I get the chance to get on the court it’ll be a pretty awesome feeling, and I hope that people watch here in Brazil.

    BALA: Speaking of getting on the court, the beginning of the season has been a little difficult, hasn’t it.

    TIAGO: Yes, it has. The key word for me right now is patience, mainly because I have no other option. The first word is patience, the second as well, the third, and fourth is the same thing. It doesn’t work to come here, to the NBA, and throw a tantrum, right? I’m not used to spending so much time on the bench, but that’s part of my apprenticeship, and I’m certain I’m on the right path.

    BALA: You expected it to be as complicated as this?

    TIAGO: Man, I’ll be honest. When I came here, lots of people said, “Tiago, your first year is going to be thankless. Oberto came from Europe and spent the season on the bench, before playing a fundamental role in the Spurs championship the next year.” And it’s not that I didn’t believe it, but you always hope for things to go well for you, right? But this happened with Manu, with Fabricio Oberto, and it’s happening with me. It takes patience, calm, and perseverance. I can already feel some of the differences between the European game and the one here, primarily in the refereeing. The one-on-one play here, there’s not as much contact allowed here as in Europe, and things start to get difficult. Here the key word is positioning. And here everybody knows how to play, everyone stands out, everyone can kill it. It’s impressive!

    BALA: I remember that in Manu’s first year he said that he practiced individually much more than with everyone. Has this happened with you too?

    TIAGO: Individual practices are my daily routine. Here in San Antonio there are two coaches that work directly with me, teaching me rotations for offense and defense and improving my technique. Beyond this, my shot mechanics are changing a bit. I can’t explain it very well, but my shot will end up being modified. I’m training like I’ve never trained, with a lot of attention from the coaches, and Popovich has seen all of this.

    BALA: Speaking of Popovich, lots of folks in Brazil have criticized the guy because he hasn’t given you time on the court.

    TIAGO: No, no this isn’t right. He has four NBA titles, we have the best record in the league, and I’m still adapting here. He did the same with Manu, with Oberto, and with so many others, and I think it’s part of the way he works. You have to respect, understand, and try to follow what they are preparing me for. Popovich is a guy that is always preoccupied with me, asking me about everything, wanting to know if I’m feeling well. I can’t complain about anything.

    BALA: You would also agree with the theory that even with the little bit of court time you’ve had, you haven’t played very well?

    TIAGO: I think that things couldn’t be more different for me. At Baskonia, all the plays went through me, and on the majority of those the decision-making was mine. Here, I’m a supporting player, the roles changed, everything changed. The transition has been very complicated, but I know that in two to three years I’ll be able to have a starring role on the team, with plays designed for me, for example. At this moment, while the team is winning, I only think about coming in and maintaining the good state of the team.

    BALA: It could be said that Manu Ginobili has been a type of older brother for you over there? And your old tutor in Spain, Iñaki Iriarte, have you talked with him?

    TIAGO: About Manu, words can’t describe what he’s done for me. He gives me good energy, gives me advice, shows me many things. He’s a great friend and I respect him so much. About Iñaki, we’ve chatted, yes. He’s experienced, understands the game, knows what’s going on here, and always reminds me to be patient.

  • Czernobog

    I’ve watched both guys play in Europe, and I think Splitter has way more upside than Scola ever did. Bigger, stronger, quicker, committed to playing defense, and has a much more polished back to the basket game than Scola did at his age. Scola’s biggest advantage on Splitter is his shooting stroke.

  • grade21

    That translation cracked me up!

  • ThatBigGuy

    I think the comparisons to Fabby are less talent based and more attitude based. Fabby was smart, patient, humble, and did whatever he had to for the betterment of the team. It seems like Splitter is following the Fabby mold in this regard. Talent-wise, Splitter is probably 50% better, maybe more. I see him peaking at 15/10 in 31 mins a game, which Fabby could have never reached.

    I think the main thing to understand here is that Splitter seems to understand his current role and understands how he needs to progress to fill the roll we all know he can fill in the future.

    I like this guy.

  • AS

    @ Rick Ashford

    “Bala”is not “Ball”, is “Bullet”.

    The blog name is a word game, because in portuguese “Cesta” (basquet) is similar to “Testa” (head)
    So, “Bala na Cesta” (ball in the basket) sounds like “Bala na Testa” (bullet in the head)

  • http://www.twitter.com/calebjsaenz Caleb

    Anybody else put together that the Spurs brass did Splitter a solid that Denver game? I remember being at that game and being surprised with the amount of burn Splitter got, seemingly out of nowhere, against a Western conference playoff foe. It kind of makes sense, considering it was the first game broadcast in Brazil that his time on the court would jump. (I imagine he wouldn’t have felt great to know people back home were tuning in to see Nene play and Tiago sit.) Playing him that night might have been a part of making sure he understands his role but remains happy. And you know what? He played a pretty good game that night. I don’t think the “role player” title is that far off if you’re comparing him to a Duncan or a Howard or a Gasol. But if you’re comparing him to players like Hawes, Turiaf, Bass, or even Okur, I think we can call him something different, a “role player +,” if you will. Once he’s acclimated to it, he’ll hold his own in this league.

  • http://www.twitter.com/calebjsaenz Caleb

    And if I was starting a band, it would have been called “Bala na Testa” before I even picked up an instrument.

  • LPspursFan

    All I can say is my mind is now set at rest after reading the translation of the Tiago story, for a couple of reasons.

    No. 1 – Tiago’s attitude. How many times do you see it where a player doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the coach on how he should be used and it just snowballs straight downhill form there. Ain’t gonna happen with this guy. Tiago, probably because he is so humble and is able to see the big picture, trusts that Pop has both his and the team’s best “long-term” interests in mind.
    “BALA: Speaking of Popovich, lots of folks in Brazil have criticized the guy because he hasn’t given you time on the court.
    TIAGO: No, no this isn’t right. He has four NBA titles, we have the best record in the league, and I’m still adapting here.”
    That right there says that Tiago not only understands Pop’s thinking but he wants his fans back home to understand and not think ill of Pop.

    No. 2 – Tiago is not in Pop’s doghouse or being kept safely for some future trade.
    “Popovich is a guy that is always preoccupied with me, asking me about everything, wanting to know if I’m feeling well. I can’t complain about anything.”

    To me, that’s Pop’s way of letting Tiago know that he is one of us, is going to continue to be one of us and is happy as all get out that he is one of us. And when Tiago uses words like “apprenticeship,” that tells me that Splitter didn’t come in here with any kind of attitude, expecting to be played a certain amount of minutes or to be treated in a certain way. He gets it; everybody needs to pay their dues and he is more than willing to pay his and doesn’t think he knows what his dues should be comprised of more than someone else.

    I also liked learning that the 2nd Denver game was the first to be broadcast back to Brazil and the “solid” that Pop gave to Tiago in playing him 21 minutes. Pop might be one tough cuss sometimes to his players when he thinks he needs to be, but he also earns the players’ admiration and respect by making moves like that.
    As far as I’m concerned, I’ll spend not one more minute worrying about Tiago’s playing time and Pop’s intentions for our new 7-footer the rest of the season.
    Go Spurs Go!!!

  • Bruno

    The game in Denver he plays very well 12 points 9 rebounds in 21 minutes, broadcast in Brazil estimulate him??

  • irongiantkc

    @ mybloodissilverandblack

    “This is one of the few bad things about how the Spurs operate: taking certain players for granted.”

    Doesn’t every team have a few players they let get away?

  • Colin

    Tiago is a great player who will develop into a great player if he lets himself. I have faith in Poppovich to bring him along the right way.

  • rob

    A great way to get more playing time is to be able to play better.

  • Ruel

    @ThatBigGuy

    Good observation and I honestly agree with you. I respect both of their Humble Personality, Talent, and Skills respectively. Tiago Splitter still young will grow and mature more for years to come? He might not be the kind of player that I want him to be in our Team but he definately has a place here as a San Antonio Spurs. He has the right attitude and personality and able to accept and will to understand coming from Overseas Country World of Basketball from the Country World who loves the Game of Basketball. It takes time, patient, understanding, and mentally prepare not by showing or exposing your skills just to impress and our Coaching Staffs doing a great job not buying it instead testing his “PRIDE” where belongs to be and I think Tiago Splitter responded well. I hope as we all San Antonio Spurs fans can be on the same page Support, Reaching, and Encouring each one of the member of San Antonio Spurs Team and our Coaching Staffs as well. There’s not time and need to be divident now even things though things and questions aren’t going on our ways? It’s already 2011. Bigger task and Challenges are just right on the corner?

    To our Coaching Staffs, Fornt Office, and Players: I appreciate all the hard works and continueing the works ethics all those years past and present you had given and put every nights and days games win or lose it doesn’t matter and I love the fact that we’re still a One Team. Keep Up The Good Work, Stay Humble, and Healthy!!!

    To Tiago Splitter: Stay Humble, Work Hard, and Patient and to those people who were doubting you and any of your current teammates as well? Just ignore their crying prayers. Just get use to it and not pay too much attention!!! Your Coaching Staffs, Teammates, and some Fans as well are right behind you to support and believing!!! Win or Lose Keep Pounding The Rock San Antonio and give them 48 minutes of Hell Team Defense!!!

  • Racsh

    I think i got it now!First of all Tiago is a rookie same what happened to blair last year. But the main thing here is that this year is the final year for Mcdyes and Im sure not just next season Tiago will have 20+ plus minutes. This is a test for patience and loyalty!

  • td4life

    i look at Turk’s production back in ORL, and i think how players and systems fit or don’t. Scola was the one that got away, but the thinking was that he didn’t fit in next to Timmy… I’m pretty certain if Tiago where on one of about 22 other teams in the league he’d be looking terrific right now, easily as good as Lopez or Marc Gasol looked by their second season in the NBA.

    And if he were able to play the PF on a good team, he could be getting lots of attention. The man is not be Chamberlain or Ewing, but he can score just fine. In SA he’ll be a role-player, and that’s fine. But it is disappointing that he got so little burn this year, and I really don’t think that will change later in the season or the playoffs. Too bad, since I still don’t like our length or defense.

    Once McD is gone next season, he’ll get his minutes.

  • Ian

    If SA wants to go along way this season we need TIAGO, we need his length to bother the other bigs, his defensive skills to stop scoring bigs, his intelligence. Defense wins championships. pls POP give him playing time.ok?

  • http://moviedrinkinggames.net Eric

    @Mo

    I wouldn’t say that the Oberto references are a direct comparison to the quality of each player, merely a comparison of their tracks to find time with the team.

    The front line depth this season is light years ahead of what Oberto was trying to conquer in ’06. Fab was sitting behind Nazr (whose play fell off significantly compared to the ’05 playoffs), Rasho (who never did find his niche), and Horry (who was having one of the worst seasons of his career).

    Compare that to now, Tiago is sitting behind a young and semi-productive Blair, still productive McDyess, and Bonner (say what you will about his history of playoff choking, but he’s been fantastic so far in this regular season).

  • Rick Ashford

    @AS

    Thanks for the correction. It’s been 14 years since I’ve spoken Portuguese regularly, and I just got it mixed up with “bola”.

  • http://bleacherreport.com JTEX

    Splitter is lucky to be where he is, if not the Spurs could probably make a decent trade with him as bait. He’s with a legitmate contender, if he will be patient he’ll be a star in a couple years. Whether Pos and Tim will still be with the Spurs is questionable but Coach Bud is Pop’s likely successor and the Spurs should still be a very good team. With the new younger players coming on board the Spurs can still be a title contender, even when Pop and Duncan probably retire together. If they can win the NBA Championship this year and there’s no lockout/strike they may stay around a little longer. Tim and Pop are smart enough to want to go out at the top of there game, like David Robinson!!

  • Titletown

    Welllll Obviously, we don’t have a problem then with Splitter now do we? Can’t wait till next year for the back to back.

  • Tony

    Why not rest Tiago and let him learn the system as best he can until he is NEEDED? Yeah, we want to see him play, etc. But, going into this, everyone talked about how smart of a player he is. Give him time to digest from the sidelines until Bonner breaks a hand, Blair’s knee goes out, or Mc D needs to sit out a game. There is no need right now, we are covering the bases well, so until there is a need, let him get his few minutes here and there and learn as much as he can to be effective. Its best for him and the team that way. Luckily, he seems to have the same attitude.

  • hurm66

    I really thought we’d see more of Splitter but the season isn’t half over yet. I still believe he will have a significant role later in the season and in the playoffs.

    I believe he has more upside that Fab did. Although our Spurs are off to an amazing start this season, I can’t help but have an uneasy feeling that they are looking to trade. Pop has always wanted Camby. We’ll see.

  • Baozao

    Tiago is not the kind of players who learns just by watching the system. He also needs to play in order to know how to win his opponents. This is what happened to him in Spain along many years. Just one example: if Tiago plays enough time against someone who is better than him, he will loose in individual scores, but just for the two or three first games. After that, you can be sure he will be one of the best players of Spurs defending this opponent player. He is very gifted in learning how to play against individual opponents (but not by just looking at). This makes him a smart player which gets better from time to time. Besides being a talent player, this is one of the main reasons he was so good in Spain and helped his team to become champion. The problem is that he needs to play enough time against all opponents! From this perspective, it is my opinion that Pop is making a big mistake by not putting Tiago to play. Maybe he will need him later on in this season and then it will be too late…But I hope to be wrong!

  • JCM

    I was really hoping to see Splitter tear up the league this year but I have all faith that Coach Pop will bring him in at the most perfect time. After seeing him in limited minutes, I can see where he needs to improve his game, but I still believe the Spurs organization is ahead of the curve when it comes to drafting/finding talent, whether oversees or here in the states. Thanks to the Spurs organization for the wonderful year so far and lets finish with another CHAMPIONSHIP!!! GO SPURS GO!!!

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