I’m digging Tiago Splitter, his guards should too

by

During yesterday’s Spurs victory over the Hornets, Tiago Splitter’s minutes (excluding garbage time) came during a 9:19 stretch that bridged the first and second quarter. Spurs scribe LJ Ellis awarded Splitter a ‘B’ for his play and registered this comment, “Gave very good effort in first half but hurt team’s rhythm.”

Ellis is on the mark, and I’d like to talk about both of these things: Splitter’s effort and the offensive rhythm that kept missing a beat.

Splitter finished the game with five points, three rebounds and a turnover. But this hardly explains what Splitter did on the court.

First, his point total should have been higher. Splitter missed three free throws, one layup and had a post score removed from the ledger after a successful fall away bank shot.

Here’s the rest of the line on Splitter from my unofficial scorecard: eighteen set screens, two forced turnovers, two drawn fouls, one backtap for an offensive rebound and score, and, although he didn’t draw any offensive fouls, he flopped on an attempt to draw a charge against David West. The ref saw it as a non-call, but it was a smart defensive play.

Popovich was about to sub Splitter out of the game prior to this play, and after Splitter attempted to take the charge, Pop called Tim Duncan back from the scorer’s table, letting Splitter play until the next timeout.

Splitter gave tremendous effort and, despite having a poor +/- for the game, made several plays to help his teammates get ahead.

On my unofficial scorecard, I also noted six missed opportunities to get Splitter the ball in scoring position. On some of these plays, the Spurs scored anyway. For example, at the top of the second quarter Splitter set a high screen for George Hill and was wide open on the roll but Hill made a difficult play at the rim instead. Two points is two points, but Hill should have rewarded his big with a pass for an easy dunk.

On other occasions Splitter slipped screens and found himself wide open in front of the rim. On one occasion, Splitter simply snuck into open space around the hoop and should have received a pass for a score. In all these ways, Splitter’s game is reminiscent of Fabricio Oberto.

But the Spurs didn’t get Splitter the ball. Unlike Oberto before him, Splitter’s teammates have yet to develop the I-know-what-he’s-up-to, I-know-when-to-look-for-him chemistry that made Oberto such an effective player. This chemistry will come as the season progresses, and Splitter will increasingly establish himself as a mainstay in the offense. His teammates will love the way Splitter runs himself ragged to set a screen and they’ll eventually reward him for the effort.

During yesterday’s game, Splitter had two shots that seemed forced. Both shots were classic cases of a big man who was working hard for others and hungry for an offensive touch of his own. When he finally got the ball, he wanted to take it to the post, even if it would have been better to reset the play by passing it out to a guard.

This is what bad offensive rhythm looks like.  Guards missing their rolling screen setter and a big who decides to get himself the ball after creating several clean looks for others.

All of this will solve itself in time. And it’s not like Splitter isn’t already playing well. He is. Watch as Splitter’s impact on the game increases in the coming weeks.

  • rob

    Again…I agree with your analysis. Your last two paragraphs sums it up well regarding Tiago. Just wait until the team realizes how much he can really help.

    Regarding thhis quote:
    “George Hill and was wide open on the roll but Hill made a difficult play at the rim instead. Two points is two points, but Hill should have rewarded his big with a pass for an easy dunk.”

    It’s not the first time, and not with only Splitter, that Hill makes these mistakes. Along with Hill’s mediocre at best ball handling skills…it’s why he is best suited…for this team…to be Ginobili’s back up at the two.

    Any word (thoughts) regarding Quinn’s development into the system as back up PG?

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Tiago Splitter is finding ways to help the Spurs -- Topsy.com

  • http://www.versacourt.com/ Basketball Hoop

    It still amazes me how the spurs can reload every season.

  • agutierrez

    Excellent analysis. I have yet to see a game where Splitter did not make a positive contribution, regardless of his stat line. He seldom gets abused on the defensive end and handles himself pretty damn well around the basket. He would benefit greatly (who doesn’t) playing with Manu, just as Fab did. He instinctively moves toward the basket after a P & R and Manu will find him. It would probably also help if he’d bulk up a bit.

  • Blofeld

    I’m glad someone else is appreciating Splitter. You can tell the foundation is there, it’s just a matter of time before he and his teamates get used to each other. Can’t wait…

  • jwalt

    Splitter is another reason why I think the Spurs are just touching it as far as their potential goes. There are just scratching the surface — the league should be on full alert — this is the best Spur team in years.

  • SG

    Oh…pretty please Pop let the man play…

  • mk

    It is time for Splitter to start, and for Blair to play next to McDyess. I think Pop has been avoiding changing the lineup when it is obviously working, but Blair is a whole lot more effective if he can set up lower without neutralizing the other post player. Blair, Hill, Neal, and Mr. Anderson, along with Bonner and Dice can be very effective offensively (though they will get killed defensively). No way do I trade Blair. This guy still has potential to be a 15 and 10 guy

  • Tyler

    I would like to see Splitter play more minutes, but on the other hand, he’s played an awful lot of basketball over the past 12 months. Between Europe, The World ‘s, pre-season, and now the regular season, that’s a good amount of wear and tear for any player, regardless of age.

    I think Pop is using him perfectly. Slowly ramping his playing time up, letting him get comfortable. I’d expect his playing time to be increased for good closer to the All-Star break.

  • Michael Erler

    I don’t think it has much to do with “getting used to” Tiago. Hill just isn’t a very alert passer and can’t run a P&R. Manu, and to a lesser extent Tony, have had little difficulty finding Tiago from the beginning.

    I’m hopeful it’s a point that Pop harped on with Hill during the video session after the game, but probably he spends all the time going over the defensive breakdowns.

  • MacedonianSpursFan

    Tiago will be better as a starter, and DeJuan will be better off the bench providing the spark…But, why rush things?Dont’ change whay is not broken…GO SPURRSSS GOOOOO!!!!!!

  • idahospur

    Much like in football, the quarterback must find the receiver that he knows will make the catch. The point guards have been looking to the older players for awhile (many years for Parker to Duncan) so they may not be looking for that rookie that may drop the pass or fail to score. As the season progressed, Parker, Hill, and whoever else is running the offense will know where to find Splitter. Then Splitter has the job of making sure he can score, or get fouled. I expect in the near future to see Splitter be the high scorer in a winning Spurs game.

  • DCspursfan

    I think Splitter missing pre-season hurts more than we realize.

  • Jim Henderson

    From main post:

    “…….he was whistled for a block against David West that could have just as easily been called a charge. The ref saw it differently, but it was a smart defensive play.”

    Splitter was “clearly” inside the circle on this block/foul. It wasn’t even close. It was a decent attempt at drawing a charge, but it was not in fact a particularly “smart defensive play”.

    Look, I’m happy with how Pop is helping Splitter transition to the NBA, and I’m quite content with Splitter’s play thus far this early in the season, even after taking into account that he’s been mainly going up against our opponent’s second units. That said, there appears to be a constant effort on this blog (not deliberate) to “highlight” the best of Splitter, a 5 year veteran of professional basketball, while at the same time regularly doing hit pieces and taking pot shots a DeJuan Blair. I find the “obvious” favoritism unappealing to say the least.

    Splitter does some good things in games outside of box score stats. So does DeJuan Blair. We always here about Splitter’s; we never hear about Blair’s. They both do different things of value for this team that are not in the box scores.

    If Splitter earns the starting nod over Blair at some point I will not be surprised, nor disappointed. Splitter is 4 years older, and with at least 4 more years of professional experience than Blair he’s frankly at this point a more polished player at both ends. That said, I’m not yet convinced that Splitter is the better fit over Blair in the starting line-up. Blair rebounds better, and contrary to the opinion of some, creates more turnovers than Splitter per minute of playing time. Those are two areas one cannot dismiss lightly. They provide us with needed possessions (rebounds), and fuel our transition offense (deflections/steals).

    In short, it’d be nice to see a bit more balance and objectivity when discussing all of the “bigs” on this team. I only appear to be a cult follower of Blair’s because the constant stream of inaccurate assessments of DeJuan on this blog has required a significant number of responses to counter what I view as a relatively high number of faulty appraisals of Blair’s current value, and future potential for this franchise.

    It would also be nice to rally around ALL of our players that are working very hard to help this team win, rather than henpeck a young guy that means a lot to this team, and has had a meaningful impact on the team’s best start in franchise history.

  • Jim Henderson

    “Splitter was “clearly” inside the circle on this block/foul. It wasn’t even close. It was a decent attempt at drawing a charge, but it was not in fact a particularly “smart defensive play”.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s the one you’re referring to.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    Jim,

    I just rewatched the play in question. We’re both wrong. Splitter attempted to draw a charge at about the 6:30 mark of the second quarter. The play happened along the baseline, and not only are Splitter’s feet nowhere near the semi-circle, they’re practically out of the lane. But it was actually a non-call. No foul was assessed. I’ve corrected my post to reflect this.

    I’m not sure what play you had in mind. Splitter didn’t commit a foul against the Hornets. Zero PFs.

  • ribanez1

    Tiago Splitter should progress to be a starter sometime this year and Blair should be relegated to coming off the bench. I believe Pop recognizes that Tiago has played a lot basketball this past year and is bringing him along slowly and will increase the minutes after the all stars game. Eventually, Tiago will be the one that can give us a legitimate chance along with Duncan against the Lakers’s twin towers assuming Bynum’s legs hold up. Also of interest, right now the Laker’s front court is playing a lot of minutes and will continue to do so until Bynum gets back assuming, again, his legs hold up. I view Bynum as a classic case of a young man putting on too much weight at an early age before his frame could handle it rather than growing into the weight naturally. His skeleton or infrastructure, for lack of a better word, is not ready for the extra poundage. Thus the leg injuries that have accumulated and will eventually and unfortunately hurt his longevity. These factors hurt the Lakers and should help the Spurs!

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    Jim,

    Honestly, I’m not sure why you think we’re down on Blair. Andrew had a post a couple months back which argued he could someday be an All-Star. I think he’s a very good player, and I say so in my post. We’re not anti-Blair. Not at all.

    Of all the people that participate in this forum, you’ve written the most words about Blair, and by a wide margin. And, last I checked, you’re fairly high on the guy.

  • Jim Henderson

    Timothy Varner
    November 29th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    “I’m not sure what play you had in mind. Splitter didn’t commit a foul against the Hornets. Zero PFs.”

    It must have been a different play in a recent game. Thanks for the correction, on both counts.

    Timothy Varner
    November 29th, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    “I think he’s a very good player, and I say so in my post. We’re not anti-Blair. Not at all.”

    There have clearly been more negative comments/posts on this blog in the last month about Blair by both the blog authors, and especially by the reader’s/commentator’s than the facts could realistically justify. It’s not that I see anything “anti-blair” to speak of, and much of the negativism I’m convinced comes from abnormally high expectations for Blair this year. An honest mistake no doubt. On the contrary, Splitter gets more favorable coverage by both the blog authors, and by reader’s/commentator’s above what one would have expected from his actual performance. And believe me, I do like Splitter’s game, and his potential to make a valuable contribution to the team this year, and in the years to come.

    “Of all the people that participate in this forum, you’ve written the most words about Blair, and by a wide margin. And, last I checked, you’re fairly high on the guy.”

    Yes, I am high on him, but most of my comments were in response to the incessant negative comments about Blair (granted, often less substantive than mine) on this blog in the past few weeks that in my view do not provide a realistic or accurate assessment of Blair’s current value or future potential to this franchise.

  • christian

    tiago splitter is going to be an amazing player. the way he moves without the ball and his gamesmarts are awesome. the point about his teammates not knowing him as well, just how oberto took a while to become effective, was great. tiago’s goign to be the x factor this year in the playoffs versus the lakers in the western conference finals.

  • rj

    @ christian – definately agree with the x factor comment in reguards to splitter and los angeles. it would make sense from pop to bring him along slowly. he’s played a ton of games in international play, and with the way we are playing, we can afford to spoonfeed him court time. however, mcdyess is getting alot of playing time early on. it’s unfortunate that blair’s lack of production and tiago’s slow adaptation caused this. but maybe we will see a shift when splitter’s usage grows and blair’s game improves (hopefully)

  • Jim Henderson
  • rj

    we are all geeks, so i will bring some humor to this often contentious domain. antonio mcdyess reminds me of tommy davidson from in living color. rj= koopa. james anderson= martin lawerence. roger mason reminded me of simba from lion king. i’ve got a knack for pointing these things out. more to come from rj (not a richard jefferon fan, although, not NOT a fan) to validate the wasted webspace taken

  • junierizzle

    I think TIAGO is doing just fine. Just because you’re not the type of player that scores 25 points a game, doesn’t mean you can’t play. TIAGO can play.

    Thanks for writing this article though. I see SPLITTER wide open all the time but they never dish him the ball.

    HIS TIME WILL COME.

  • duaneofly

    I love Splitter, I also love Blair, but I too feel Blair would be better off the bench, with Splitter being the starter.
    Instead of discussing the merits of both those players, etc etc, I’ll just remind everyone of that old adage, “You can’t teach height.” Blair is 6-7, Splitter is 6-11 (according to espn.com)

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

    I think Splitter was the steal of the 2007 NBA Draft! The Spurs were once again, fortunate to find a high quality guy who admires Duncan, even wearing his number as a pro in Europe as a tribute.

    I know much is being made about a height advantage for LA vs. the Spurs by the mainstream media and the so called “experts” but I think this team, as currently constructed will run the Lakers team into the ground.

    The Spurs have so many scoring threats, TP and RJ are both playing for redemption (even though injury and unfamiliarity are legit reasons for slippage), Manu is playing like an NBA deity and Timmy is proving life can be fruitful, even as one approaches 35+ years of age. I don’t think the big fella is ready for an AARP card yet.

    Pop is the greatest coach / motivator in the NBA and RC & Co. are the most skilled front office in the association!

    I realize it is STILL early in the season but this is the most exciting team EVER to don the Silver & Black.

  • Tyler

    @ Jim & Tim

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m almost positive the block/charge call was against NO last game, and Splitter’s heels were inside the semicircle.

    Either the box score is wrong, or the foul was called on someone else just before Splitter took the hit.

  • syd

    I won’t cut and paste my two extensive remarks about Blair’s long-term future with the franchise here. They’re in the comments section of the previous Blair-centric post (feel free to peruse at your leisure) but I will reiterate them in brief here in reference to your comment. They boil down to this:

    1) DeJuan Blair is hard-working, inexpensive often valuable player who is a contribuor now and has the potential to be much more than that, but…

    2) His knee issues suggest he is almost certain to be out of the league in 2-5 years and we ought not make any long-term frontcourt projections that include him in the mix. He’s unlikely to be around and we should not automatically reject the idea of dangling him in exchange for another young post player who can be a regular rotation player. This need not happen this week or even this season. But it probably should happen.

    As you yourself said, he has current value. I agree. But it’s not at all certain that he will have much future value due to his medical concerns (which I address more fully in my prior post comments) . I don’t think there’s anything wrong with seriously considering taking advantage of that value to look for a player with fewer physical question marks, even as we continue to develop Blair.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like DeJuan Blair. He’s like a Michael Cage/Larry Smith/ Malik Rose/ Ed Nealy hybrid (that’s right, I’m busting out Ed Nealy- former Spurs effort guy and halfcourt inbounder extraordinairre). But I don’t think he’s untouchable.

    The Spurs current record is not even moderately Blair-based so suggestions about not rocking the boat don’t hold much water for me.

    Now admittedly, many folks in these parts are far too critical of Blair and don’t gove him nearly enough credit. But let’s not make the mistake of giving him too much.

  • syd

    @ Jim Henderson

    Whoops! The above comment was intended in response to @ Jim Henderson’s comment, now included below:

    “I only appear to be a cult follower of Blair’s because the constant stream of inaccurate assessments of DeJuan on this blog has required a significant number of responses to counter what I view as a relatively high number of faulty appraisals of Blair’s current value, and future potential for this franchise.”

  • Jim Henderson

    duaneofly
    November 30th, 2010 at 5:12 am

    “….I’ll just remind everyone of that old adage, “You can’t teach height.” Blair is 6-7, Splitter is 6-11 (according to espn.com)”

    Blair also has the same wingspan as Splitter, a 2 inch higher vertical, and his standing reach is just 3 inches shy of Splitter. The height issue is over-played. Blair’s got a big body, he just doesn’t have the amount of professional experience that Splitter has. Thus, I’d like to see Splitter get more minutes, but at the expense of Bonner, not Blair.

    Tyler
    November 30th, 2010 at 7:36 am

    “@ Jim & Tim

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m almost positive the block/charge call was against NO last game, and Splitter’s heels were inside the semicircle.”

    That’s what I thought. But without reviewing the tape during Splitter’s entire 9 minutes I can’t confirm.

    “His knee issues suggest he is almost certain to be out of the league in 2-5 years and we ought not make any long-term frontcourt projections that include him in the mix.”

    We absolutely do not know this to be the case. In fact, it’s just as likely that Blair is a freak of nature, because no doctor 3 years ago would have ever believed that he would have even made it to the NBA, and yet he’s played hard & aggressively in EVERY game since he suited up for Pittsburgh.

    “But I don’t think he’s untouchable.”

    Again, nobody said he’s untouchable.

    “Now admittedly, many folks in these parts are far too critical of Blair and don’t gove him nearly enough credit. But let’s not make the mistake of giving him too much.”

    I agree, and I certainly don’t give him too much credit. He gets WAY too much criticism, and I simply spend much of my time trying to achieve a more realistic balance where Blair is concerned. Also, I’m not opposed to getting another young and talented 4/5 to be an impact player in the future rotation of Splitter/Blair. After all, neither Splitter nor Blair are ever going to be a Tim Duncan-type player. But the idea that we should try to trade Blair now or in the near future is not born out by the facts on the ground.

  • Jim Henderson

    After I addressed Tyler, the latter half of my previous comment was meant to be directed to Syd.

  • duaneofly

    Jim, I fully admit that the past few seasons I’ve been a big time Bonner basher. However, he has been shooting pretty damn good this year, and has seemed to improved upon his rebounding and defense. Bonner has been playing a hell of a lot better than Blair has this year. As long as Bonner keeps drilling 3s, he needs to play. Blair, as much as I love him, hasn’t been playing so good.
    I’m all for giving Blair another handful of games to show what he can do, but after that I’d say his chance is over and it’s time for Splitter to get the starting nod.

  • Jim Henderson

    duaneofly
    November 30th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    “Bonner has been playing a hell of a lot better than Blair has this year.”

    No he hasn’t. He’s had some hot shooting nights, and has played mainly against the opponents second units. His rebounding sucks, and he doesn’t force turnovers that fuels our transition offense. Plus he’s proven to be a non-factor in the playoffs, and hence deserves less minutes than any of our other bigs.

    Splitter should be taking some of BONNER’s minutes now. Whether he starts over Blair at some point is still to be determined.

    Bonner is not suddenly a 60% shooter from behind the arc. In fact his 3-pt % has dropped like a rock in just the last few games, from 70% to 55%. It’s got another 15% to go to get back to his career avg., and it is likely to get there before long.

  • duaneofly

    Jim, this isn’t spring time, this is November 30th, 2010, and the NBA season is just a month old. The fact that Bonner has sucked ass the past two years in the playoffs has nothing to do with the fact that he is playing good right now.
    Bonner going 4-4 on 3 pointers in the game vs the Magic is one of the main reasons we won that game. Blair played 10 minutes that game and didn’t accomplish anything.
    Likewise, Bonner had the go ahead 3 in overtime to beat the T-wolves, while Blair racked up 3 personals in the 6 minutes he played that game. Figure in that 7-7 game and there’s 3 victories that Bonner deserves a good chunk of the credit for. I don’t think Blair has earned the team any Ws this year.

    Look, I like Blair, and I think he can become a pretty good player, but right now he just isn’t providing much. Maybe Pop needs to spend some time with him 1 on 1 like he did with RJ. I don’t know, but I do know even with Blair starting, and playing only 5-10 minutes, we’re still winning.

    I’m sure you’ll counter with more stats on Bonner, and how if our playoff hopes rest on Bonner’s shoulders we are screwed and things like that. I do agree, Bonner isn’t going to be our saving grace come the playoffs, but you know what? Neither is Blair.

    Anyways, I’m not going to continue discussing this. I think Blair should take a backseat, you think Bonner should. Maybe you’re right, maybe I’m right, or shoot, we could both be wrong.

  • jam

    splitter must get more balls into is great ¡¡

  • Jim Henderson

    This comment is in response to the previous thread on Blair, since Tim cut off the commentary.

    ThatBigGuy
    November 30th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    You’re rebuttals to my last post are absurd, and totally confirm that you don’t have a clue on the Blair issue.

    Bankshot21
    November 30th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    “1st you praise Blair for being apart of our 14-2 team, then you scoff Bonner for playoff struggles even though he is currently apart of this same 14-2 start. Who gives a damn about how the man played in spot minutes in the playoffs.”

    Hey Sherlock, we were 6-1 without Bonner, and with Blair averaging 23+ mpg. Now we’re 8-1 with Bonner AND Blair. I did not say that Bonner did not help the team in some games this season so far. But yes, the playoffs matter, and we MUST develop our YOUNG bigs (that includes playing Splitter more and Bonner less) as much as possible in the regular season so that they’re ready to hopefully give us what we need in the playoffs. Bonner is 30 years old and has shown for 3-4 years that he cannot make a very good contribution in the playoffs. And actually, Blair as a 20 year old rookie played pretty well for his 9 mpg. in last years playoffs.

    “Please understand that you have single handedly made many of us knock Blair whom under normal circumstances we would cheer.”

    That is UTTER garbage. I don’t MAKE anyone do anything. You just don’t want to accept the validity of my arguments, so you go on & on raising silly objections just for the sake of arguing. It’s pathetic.

    “But the notion that he can only be developed in a starting role is laughable.”

    Nobody ever asserted that. What I have stated is that it is often more effective to develop a young player quicker by keeping him in there as much as possible against competition that is a bit better than him. That is common knowledge in player development from little league up to the pro level.

    “The more appropriate comparison would be the 1st 4 game with big minutes (3-1) versus the last 4 games with very few minutes (3-1) and its a complete wash.”

    Now that is dumb.

    “We all watched Blair get smoked last game and this man made a load of crap excuse as to how West “could have” had the same amount of points against the other defenders.”

    Sometimes I wonder whether you’ve seen West play more than two games in your entire life. It certainly doesn’t look that way.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    @Jim,

    Now this is just bad manners on multiple levels. We didn’t close the conversation just to have you pick it up here. If you feel this passionately about the subject, perhaps hosting a forum of your own would work better.

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Tim

    +15

    Splitter rocks. Totally worth the wait. He looks like he could be a 30 MPG starter for a playoff Spurs team for another 6-8 years. People keep calling him an Oberto with more offense, but I think he’s a Scola with more defense.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    He didn’t look good tonight. Blair found a rhythm, though. Good to see.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Everyone has their off days. Some guys have on days. Timmy throws down his first trip-dub since 2003. Ellis scores 12 points.

    That’s why they play the game.

  • titletown99030507

    @Jim Henderson, Blair will continue to be eaten up by the opposing big when defending the basket I see this in every game. So what if he can rebound so can Splitter. The difference here is Splitter will defend the basket much better than Blair because of his height. Spiltter is quick for his size and can go down low for steals or the ball as we already seen. Besides I am tired of seeing the Spurs get behind early when Blair starts due to getting scored on repetitively early on. Watching Blair’s monster dunks are only entertaining during trash time. Let’s get real and put the hurt on these teams early with good defense of the basket. The offfense is already there why do we want the opposing team to get off on a good offensive start because you can’t defend the basket. Ive said it before and I’ll say it again Blair is a dilemma. He’s a gifted player but you cant defend height when your way smaller than your opponent. I just wish he had a lights out perimeter shot and was a little lighter and quicker then maybe he could play as a big wing spelling Jefferson and maybe seeing court time with Duncan and Splitter at the same time. Splitter needs more time on the court and Pop knows this so he’s just easing Splitter in gradually without disturbing the offensive flow. But once the rest of the back court realize what Splitter means to the team then things will change and the evolution of the Spurs line up will materialize and benefit from Splitters play. That way you’ll be ready for the Laker tandem from the get go. Cause I don’t want to see Odem, Gasol, or Bynum checking Blair at tippoff. Disasterous. Things should change, I hope so.

  • SG

    I second titletown…i’m not sure who would defend the laker’s Big 3 upfront. We know that Duncan/McDyess will see lots of min’s against them. Who else? Splitter/Bonner/Blair are all big Q’s against LA now. It will be fun to see what Pop decides if it comes to that.

    Maybe 48MOH should do a post on the pros/cons of each player facing up against LA’s bigs.

  • Shawn_b

    Great observation. I think give Tiago more time playing alongside Manu can resolve that problem you mentioned at a certain level.

  • senorglory

    “I also noted six missed opportunities to get Splitter the ball in scoring position.”

    They generally don’t look to get Splitter the ball when he flashes to the basket, even when he’s open by a country mile, from what I’ve seen.