Training Camp Woes: Tiago Splitter Injured

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The San Antonio Spurs have announced that Tiago Splitter “suffered a strained right plantaris muscle” during today’s practice. Splitter will begin a seven to ten day rehab program before the Spurs announce a timetable for his return.

This is discouraging news a mere three days into training camp. The Spurs stacked their training camp roster with wings, and don’t really have a legitimate emergency big candidate on their roster. Making matters worse, Splitter has a history of small, nagging injuries. One hopes this isn’t a career pattern.

So much for Tiago Splitter getting an early jump on the system and developing chemistry with teammates during camp.

This, however, is a good opportunity for DeJuan Blair to carve out more playing time for himself. And, of course, this is the sort of thing that may cause the Spurs to take a more careful look at James Gist.

  • Josh

    It’s 7-10 days, not months. What is the big deal?

  • DaveMan77

    A month before an 82 game season starts it’ll be ok.

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

    It’s 7 to 10 days and THEN a timetable. The Spurs are always cautious. Splitter could miss 1/2 of camp.

    It’s not a big deal so much as bad timing.

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  • Jim Henderson

    This could pretty much kill any chance of Splitter being a starter from the outset of the new season. Get healthy quickly, Tiago!

    Sure we don’t want to sign a 6th big instead of having 7 guards? Maybe a Mbenga or a Boone anyone?

  • BankShot21

    This is a bit disheartening, as I recall him getting injured prior to the World Championships this summer. He was able to play after the injury but the last thing we need is a fragile big.

  • sasleepless

    @Varner
    “It’s not a big deal so much as bad timing”

    It would be bad timing if it were during the WCF against the Lakers. Missing 10 days, 5 months before the All-star break is fine by me.

  • rj

    maybe it will give him a chance to rest. he’s been playing ball all summer. i’m sure he can still learn alot without being on the court. maybe dallas can let us rent mahinmi for a couple of days. i’m sure they would’t mind lol.

  • Jim Henderson
  • spursfanbayarea

    @Jim
    I would sign boone as a back up big man.

  • junierizzle

    I guess we have to wait for the official time table but it’s a long season. It’s all good for now.

    As long as they don’t come back with “will miss first 3 weeks of the season.”

  • Jim Henderson

    spursfanbayarea
    September 30th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    “@Jim
    I would sign boone as a back up big man.”

    That’s cool, but can you then tell me who your 12 active Spur roster spots should be, and who’s likely to end up odd man (men) out?

  • 09.20.21.50

    WACK.

  • Mk

    This could work out in the long run. Gee is a better player, but Gist might be a better fit for what the Spurs need. With Splitter a little gimpy, the Spurs are more likely to give Gist a roster spot, as he can take some minutes at the 4 until Splitter comes back. This gives Gist a brief window to show he can be the defensive wing they need.

  • stephen

    I bet training camp has been intense….better now than when the season begins. Probably could use the rest and time to study the system. Hope he plays on Oct. 18th, as I’ll be there with my son.

  • rob

    With the comments gathered from both players and coaches regarding how fast Splitter is catching on to the system…I’m sure this will all be but a minor setback to his development and positioning on the team.

    And due to the importance he will have on this team…letting it heal completely before attempting to play will be a greater importance than trying to rush him back in the system.

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  • Dane

    No dont sign mbenga or boone….sign cousin. he is an athletic big who can knock down the mid range shot. Similiar to Mcdyess. Bringing on someone outside of camp in a panic is useless….tiago will be fine. The spurs medical staff will baby him back to health and he will get his 10 and 10 along side Duncan like everyone is hoping for. calm down people

  • RJr

    Wilson Chandler possibly to Spurs?

  • Jim Henderson

    rob
    October 1st, 2010 at 3:46 am

    “With the comments gathered from both players and coaches regarding how fast Splitter is catching on to the system…”

    What comments are you referring to?

  • Jim Henderson

    Splitter out through Oct. 9 preseason game against the Heat:

    http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/tim_griffin/2010/09/injury-shelves-splitters-devel.html

  • rob

    Jim Henderson

    “What comments are you referring to?”

    Log in to here:
    http://www.nba.com/spurs/

    Click on “Video Clips” and watch and listen to the Duncan, McDyess and Popovich videos that show them responding to questions about Tiago.

  • spursfanbayarea

    @Jim

    I would want Boone as an insurance option. I wouldn’t necessarily dress him for all games. In my opinion the ten that should be suited all games would be as following:

    Parker,Hill,Jefferson,Duncan,Splitter,Ginobilli,Anderson,Simmons(If he makes team), Blair, McDyess,

    I would then rotate off the inactive and end of the bench with Bonner, Neal, Penny(if he makes team),Gee or Gist(if either makes team) and Boone(if we potentially signed him). This is assuming we use all of our alloted 15 spots.

    Depending on who is shooting well or who we are playing the inactive pool can be used effectively vs different opponents. Neal and Penny pretty much are effectively spot up shooters so I don’t think we would want to activate both at the same time. So I could see us playing whoever is the hot hand. Bonner Im sure popovich will activate for all the games but I would use him situationally. Against the larger front lines I would prefer to have Boones 6 fouls and rebounding than bonners defense. Gee would most likely be on the inactive bench ninety percent of the time unless Jefferson or Simmons were to get hurt. Gist at this point is an unknown. Don’t really know what we can expect out of him. Hopefully he has a great training camp and does well in preseason.

  • Jim Henderson

    spursfanbayarea
    October 1st, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Actually, rules don’t allow more than 13 on the bench at any one game. It would be too impractical to draw on and rotate 4 players between active & inactive, and between the Toros & the Spurs. Otherwise your basic idea sounds fine, but you’d have to keep at least two of those five players in Austin most of the time, or at least rotate them much less frequently. I would think that Gee, Gist, & Penny or Neal would need to be in Austin most of the time. Also, you left out Temple. So as you can see, our roster is getting a little tight. I’m fine with your top ten. After that I’d just as soon see Bonner, Temple, & Boone (or another available big like Mbenga) fill out the 13 allowed on the Spurs bench, and rotate active/inactive between them. I’d rather see our top 13 consist of 5 guards & 6 bigs than the other way around, but so far we don’t have a 6th “roster-making” big in camp (I don’t count Gist or Cousin). If we go 6 guards, I say it should be either Neal OR Penney to round out the top 13.

  • http://www.yahoo.com TITO

    Splitter will be okay, I can t wait for the season to start, I love the NBA more than the NFL. GO Spurs!!! GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gary Neal is a kevin Durant clone that guy can score and demand double teams im sooo thrilled that the spurs signed him from an overseas team. If it werent for his rape charge during his days at towson nodoubt he would have been drafted in the 1st round that dude was right behind kevin durant in scoring. People who really know gary Neal know that he is a quality player

  • rob

    I’ve been promoting Boone for the past 2 months. But if he hasn’t been negotiated with or brought in buy now…I suspect the Spurs are comfortable with who they have at big and are looking to more or less guarantee their perimeter situation by including so many candidates in hopes of securing the best perimeter players they can assess for the team.

  • Jim Henderson

    rob
    October 2nd, 2010 at 11:42 am

    “I suspect the Spurs are comfortable with who they have at big…..”

    Probably right. Bigs entered the conversation again because of Splitter’s injury, not so much because of the injury itself (fairly minor), but what it says about how thin we are up front if we were to get a more serious injury to one of the top four bigs at any point in the season. I for one am not that comfortable with that, probably because I have less faith than most in Bonner’s ability to effectively soak up the extra minutes

    Read more: http://www.48minutesofhell.com/2010/09/30/training-camp-woes-tiago-splitter-injured/#comments#ixzz11EzACRB6

  • spursfanbayarea

    @Jim
    You are allowed to have a total of 15 roster spots. You can only dress 12 players for a game. You do not have to keep the inactive players in austin. I don’t believe it would be a difficult thing to rotate the last 5 players who will play minimum minutes. Its not as if we are rotating out starter minutes. You are right that I left out temple, but we are assuming that we are bringing on an extra big. Temple, Gee,Gist are the most likely to be cut. Since we are pretty thin at SF and if Gee or Gist stands out. Then maybe Temple gets cut. These scenarios were based on the assumption of signing an extra big as a backup. The regular season rotation will usually run 10 deep unless there is a blow out. Also once playoffs come around the rotation is cut even more to 8 players. The rotation of end of bench players wouldn’t be too difficult IMO.

  • Jim Henderson

    spursfanbayarea
    October 2nd, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    “You are allowed to have a total of 15 roster spots. You can only dress 12 players for a game. You do not have to keep the inactive players in austin.”

    I thought teams were limited to 13 total players on their bench during games, but apparently they can go to 15. I still think 15 would be a bit crowded for practical reasons. For one, we don’t want too many young players with potential getting too little actual game time experience.

    “Also once playoffs come around the rotation is cut even more to 8 players.”

    I’m a big believer in depth, even during the playoffs. In fact, I’d like to see our playoff rotation include 9 guys. For example: TP, Manu, RJ, TD, McDyess, Splitter, Blair, and Hill, with the 9th guy probably being a shooter that can hit a solid percentage in a playoff atmosphere. At this point I’d like to see Simmons fill that 9th spot in the playoff rotation. I think he has the potential to fill an important 12-16 mpg. niche for us in the playoffs. The fact is, RJ’s not going to be playing 48 minutes, and I’m not too enamored with the prospects of Bonner or a 3-guard line-up filling that gap.

  • zack in the alamo

    im baffled!! mbenga is out there he blocks shots and can defend the paint can we please stop signing wing players and get some damn tall people i have a feeling neal is our center haha see what happens when you have your own vinyard!!

  • spursfanbayarea

    @Jim
    The advantage of having 15 players and why teams do it is because of practice. When you have 15 players you have more players to use on 5 on 5 practice, because during a long season. You have to sit out the older guys and you have injuries. If you have more guys then you can have more effective practices. The main reason teams don’t use 15 guys is because of the salary cap. Its not always feasible to carry that many guys if you are in a sticky cap situation.

    I agree with you on the topic of depth. It is always better to have more depth, even more so with an older roster. But I just stated what popovich typically does and most playoff teams do. In the playoffs you only saw parker,hill, ginobilli,jefferson,duncan, mcydyess, blair and bonner, everyone else was in very few minutes.

    “I thought teams were limited to 13 total players on their bench during games, but apparently they can go to 15. I still think 15 would be a bit crowded for practical reasons. For one, we don’t want too many young players with potential getting too little actual game time experience.”

    This was typical of last season. Mahimini, Hairstin, Haslip were all on the inactive list. They all got spot minutes. All were young players. Also before ratliff(not saying he is young) was waived he was on off inactive list. I don’t believe having too many players is ever a problem. Not utilizing those players is. Not giving them a chance to develop is a problem.

  • Jim Henderson

    spursfanbayarea
    October 3rd, 2010 at 7:45 am

    “But I just stated what popovich typically does and most playoff teams do. In the playoffs you only sawparker,hill,ginobilli,jefferson,duncan, mcydyess, blair and bonner, everyone else was in very few minutes.”

    I understand, and I’m telling you that in my view it’s a mistake. Even Blair only played 9 minutes per game in last years playoffs. This is a problem, particularly as you say with an “older team”, and I believe Pop simply needs to make an adjustment here. We are not going to survive a long playoff run with only 7 players (three of them age 34 & over) exceeding 10 minutes in playing time. We need NINE exceeding 10 minutes. If not, mark my words, we will NOT survive the second round again.

    “This was typical of last season. Mahimini, Hairstin, Haslip were all on the inactive list. They all got spot minutes.”

    Haislip was gone fairly early in the season. And Hairston rotated between the Spurs & Austin during the season. In fact, we rarely had more than 13 players on the Spurs bench for games last season (not including those on injured reserve, e.g., Bonner, TP, Mase, Finley). And we ended up not having enough minutes for the bottom one or two guys.

    “I don’t believe having too many players is ever a problem. Not utilizing those players is. Not giving them a chance to develop is a problem.”

    Well, only 5 players are able to play at any one time, for a team total of 240 minutes. You’re going to be hard pressed to get all 15 players meaningful minutes on a regular basis. If all 15 got the same minutes, they would average 16 mpg. If you figure that your starters are going to need to average about 30 mpg. (150), your top 5 reserves (Hill, Blair, Splitter, Simmons, Bonner) 18 mpg. (90), that leaves NO minutes for the bottom five. I’m a big believer that proper development is only partially accomplished during practices. Game-time experience, even at the D-league level is important. As a result, I would not keep more than 13 players on the Spurs bench. Rotating the bottom 2 or 3 (players 13, 14 & 15 – assuming that they are young and/or inexperienced NBA players) between the Spurs and Austin every month or two might work out okay.

  • spursfanbayarea

    @Jim
    As I stated before I don’t expect all 15 players to play every game or all the time. I expect 10 with the last two spots up for grabs depending on matchups. I just like having the flexibility of plugging in the last two players depending on situtations. Against bigger teams I would like an extra big. Against other teams we may need an extra perimeter defender.

    I am not a big believer in the D-League experience. I would rather have the players around proven nba players in day in day out. They can see the work habits and fully learn the system. Our D-League projects have not netted us a meaningful player. Our best DLeague project player is on the Mavericks. Our second best(Malik) never got a chance to play and was released and went overseas for a bit before getting released again. Our third best Dwayne Jones never even got a call up. In my opinion it hasn’t been effective of fruitful for the spurs. On our team Gee may or may not even make the team. Garrett Temple was on a short stint in D-League. But he was better evaluated during his stints with hou and sac. Never was really developed in the D-League. In theory it seemed like the D-League was a good idea. But now I do not really believe in it. Even more so since they have changed some rules similar to FIBA basketball.

    Also I never agreed with popovich 8 man rotation. I just mentioned thats just how it goes.

    I agree that a 9 man rotation is more favorable and if enough talent a 10 man rotation would be ideal to keep players fresh throughout a long series.

    “Rotating the bottom 2 or 3 (players 13, 14 & 15 – assuming that they are young and/or inexperienced NBA players) between the Spurs and Austin every month or two might work out okay.”
    This is not allowed. You are only allowed 3 call ups or downs for a given player. Then you must either put them on a roster spot or give up their rights.

  • Jim Henderson

    spursfanbayarea
    October 3rd, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    “As I stated before I don’t expect all 15 players to play every game or all the time.”

    I’m quite aware of that. I only talked about “15” players to emphasize the fact that four to five of those players are not going to see hardly any “game-time” experience the entire year.

    “I am not a big believer in the D-League experience. I would rather have the players around proven nba players in day in day out. They can see the work habits and fully learn the system.”

    I believe that the reason most D-League players don’t make good NBA players is because the great majority of them simply aren’t good enough. The D-league experience is not the problem; lack of talent, insufficient b-ball instincts, and/or inadequate character development or intrinsic motivation are far more important factors, and riding the Spurs bench is not going to solve most of them. Also, game-time experience is in fact a critical component to a young players’ overall development. Having three or four young players on the Spurs bench getting at best a small amount of spot minutes throughout an entire year, usually during garbage time, is not the best way to develop these players. They should all at least have 2 out of the 6 month season where they’re getting “game-time” experience, even at the D-league level, especially during their 1st year with the team as a young player. Of course, they should also be given a chance to play more for the Spurs, particularly against the bottom 25-30% of teams in the league (T-Wolves, Nets, Pistons, Warriors, etc.). As you know, practicing with the team only does so much for a player’s development. For example, confidence is a key factor at any level of basketball, and there’s a portion of one’s confidence that can ONLY be developed during game-time competition.

    “Also I never agreed with popovich 8 man rotation.”

    I never said that you agreed with Pop’s rotation. I simply stated that I disagreed with it.

    “This is not allowed. You are only allowed 3 call ups or downs for a given player. Then you must either put them on a roster spot or give up their rights.”

    Ostensibly then this would appear to allow a rotation every two months for the bottom 3 players before one needs to make a “roster spot decision”. I don’t really see a problem in that.

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