Video: How Tiago Splitter fits in with the San Antonio Spurs


Tiago Splitter is officially a San Antonio Spur. So where does he fit in?We’ve talked plenty about Tiago Splitter in these parts. But we haven’t done a whole lot of work on explaining how he will actually fit into the San Antonio Spurs’ plans.

Most of what we were concerned with was actually getting him in the silver and black. An important first step, I know. But now that the deal is done and dusted and Splitter has been assigned a jersey, let’s have a look at how the big Brazilian fits in with your San Antonio Spurs.

  • chloe

    great video.
    okay boys, please forgive me some stupid questions but i’ve never played, and only started watching when the spurs played the hometown team dallas a few months ago when they beat them : )

    can anyone tell me what
    the “post/high post/low post” is?
    and “the lane”?

    don’t be mean.

  • DieHardSpur

    I cant see the video… damn firewall!

    I predict splitter to be a 12-14 point contributor with 7-8 boards in his first year…

  • DieHardSpur

    The lane is the painted area. It us usually referred to as ‘the paint” or “the lane” which is used for driving…

    The low post is playing on the low block on the edge of the paint. If you say one works from the low post, then he essentially can catch the ball down low and ‘go to work” if you will…

    The high post is usually up at the frww throw line on either side of the paint, but can range out 4-6 feet from the paint.

    Hope that helped..

  • Tyler

    Tiago reminds me of a bigger, more athletic Oberto with a better offensive game, which means he should fit like a glove. And as physical as the play gets in Europe (and by physical, I mean pseudo dirty), Tiago should be able to make the adjustment to the NBA fairly easily. If anything, he’ll have to cut out some of the contact he was allowed in Spain.

    With the motion offense we run, Tiago’s (like Fab’s) passing skills will be on display. When he catches at the high post/elbow area, he’ll have the ability to see the floor, dissect the defense, and hit out cutters.

    Tiago’s passing skills should also help a player like RJ (if he resigns), who needs to receive the ball in scoring position to be successful. To often last year RJ was asked to make a play for himself, which isn’t his strength. But if he receives it around the basket, or cutting to the basket, his efficiency should go up.

    Tiago gives us that other scoring threat we need with Manu in that second unit. Instead of everyone playing off Manu, we can switch it up and run motion plays through Tiago.

    I’m pumped!

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  • Tyler

    And mark my words: Tiago, not Greg Monroe, will prove to be the best passing big man in this rookie class next season…..

  • Este

    Hello Chloe,

    Welcome to the Spurs Family! Like DieHardSpur I’m unable to view the video for whatever reason so I’m not sure how high post and low post are referenced in the video.

    But a quick explanation the lane is the colored rectangular area that surrounds the basket. The low post is a spot on either side of the lane close to the basket the hight post is a spot on either side of the lane further away from the basket closer to the free throw line.

    I hope that makes sense.

  • gospurs44

    Jeff McDonald tweeted earlier today “Twice today heard Splitter described as a “bigger, more skilled version of Fab Oberto.” Just passing it along.”

  • jmjohnson24

    Chloe, try this website.

    It has some pretty good definitions of basketball terms.

  • Este

    My main concern about Tiago in his first season will be adjusting to the physical play in the NBA. I could see him getting pushed around quite a bit initially. Obviously you don’t have to face Dwight Howard every night but it’s still a very physical league in the paint.

  • Este


    “Tiago gives us that other scoring threat we need with Manu in that second unit. Instead of everyone playing off Manu, we can switch it up and run motion plays through Tiago.”

    I have a source that claims when Manu renegotiated his contract being in the starting line-up was a key issue as well as being the last player introduced which was previously Tony Parker. I don’t know if it’s written in stone but I don’t expect Manu to resume his sixth man role unless Pop absolutely pleads with him to go back to that role.

  • DieHardSpur

    Este –

    The play in Europe is twice as “dirty” or “physical” as it is in the NBA. While I do believe that Splitter will need to put on weight in his shoulders, he should be just fine banging with the local talent in the states. Of course there is always your Bynum’s and Howard’s, but everyone has to deal with them. Just as they will have to deal with a Splitter who can pass like a point guard, hit the mid range jumper like McDyess, and score in the post as well as just about any other big man…

  • DieHardSpur

    Tiago for “Rookie of the year” anyone?

  • karsten

    whats the track in the video?

  • jking000

    I love good passing big men. The idea of Tiago, Manu, and yes even Jefferson on the floor to spell time for Timmy and TD sounds terrific. Even if we don’t have Jefferson, Hairston looks poised to have a good year and is an exciting player to watch. With all these important role players (Blair, Jefferson, Dyess, Hill, Hairston) getting acclimated to the system and the addition of Tiago, I’m pretty optimistic about this season.

    The key is going to be the defense (obviously). But I think that is were the most improvement comes with time. A guys offensive skills are usually the same no matter the system. A shooter is a shooter, a low post big man will always post, slashers will slash (etc). I wouldn’t expect guys to do too much more on offense than they did last year (with HOPEFULLY Jefferson as an exception). But with a whole season under their belt in the Spurs defensive system, it should prove wonders. Hopefully we can get restored to the defense of old.

  • Jordan


    I would love for him to get ROY, but Wall or Griffin has a better chance imo.

  • ruth bader ginobili

    Nice video. My favorite part was Andrew saying “those ups” while breathing heavily. Pretty much summed up my feelings too.

    Agree with the other guys saying that he might be playing too physical for the NBA. I thought that first defensive clip in the video would have been a foul in the States.

  • duaneofly

    I think our team will be a lot better this upcoming season. Splitter basically took NBA pennies to sign with us, and if RJ takes 6-7 mil a year, that’s a big pay cut. What that also tells me is those guys are committed to this organization, and winning.
    Then if guys like Anderson/Hairston/Temple/Gee actually get some court time, that’ll keep them motivated to keep learning.
    Also, I think it’s time to put Manu back in the starting lineup. Using him as a sixth man was genius, but I think in today’s NBA, we need to start, and finish, games with our best players on the court.

  • Tyler


    Manu can’t renegotiate his contract – it’s against the CBA rules. And the idea that Manu has to somehow be introduced last seems to be very un-Manu like. I’m not saying they didn’t come to an “understanding” regarding him starting, but Manu doesn’t strike me as the type of player that really worries about whether he starts or not.

    Also, FIBA is much more physical than the NBA. There’s more pushing, shoving, hand checking, etc allowed in FIBA, especially down low. That’s why I don’t think he should have a problem bodying guys defensively or blocking out. He will, however have to adjust to the speed and the athleticism. Both of these adjustments will take a period of time and probably cause him to be a little more foul-prone than we would like. But I have no doubt that he will learn pretty quickly and adjust accordingly.

  • duaneofly

    I believe Este was talking about when Manu signed his extension, which can be negotiated. & even if it isn’t written in the contract, they can still have verbal agreements before Manu signed that extension.
    Such as: Manu won’t play international ball anymore, but he gets put back in the starting lineup.

  • DieHardSpur

    @Jordan –

    Griffin was a rookie last year, so he cant be this year as well…

    Wall will be really good. Do you think he will be as efficient as the current MVP in Europe? I think we have just as good a shot, if not a better shot, to have the ROY.

    Blair VS Splitter in the Rookie VS Sophmore game…. (I am salivating)

  • Tyler

    Also, when I say “second unit,” that doesn’t necessarily mean Tiago will/will not start. I just mean that with subs in (and Manu on the court), we’ll have one more weapon that can create, either in the post, or off the block with his passing skills.

    The second unit operates exclusively off Manu. And at times, guys can get caught watching. With Tiago, our offense has the potential to add another threat, which should in turn make everyone else better, even Manu.

  • zainn

    man, i dont know how the starting lineup will be because tony said he has to start for this team, and manu apparently wants to start as well, (este), so will hill be our only scoring threat off the bench? him and blair. i thought it was the manu blair combo that killed teams? i hope manu or tony can swallow their pride for another two seasons so we can win some more championships. also, splitter wont get enough minutes (like 20-30) to become rookie of the year, players like wall and evans will probably get over 40 minutes per game. would’ve been cool though. I wish they could count per minute production in rookies so that they could be evenly evaluated in stats and whatnot.

  • Tyler


    I think this upcoming year actually counts as Griffin’s rookie year, being that he didn’t play a minute during the regular season, similar to Oden a few years back, or even DRob when he had to perform his required 2 years in the military after he was drafted.

  • DieHardSpur

    Damnit… There goes that idea…

  • Este

    “Manu can’t renegotiate his contract – it’s against the CBA rules. And the idea that Manu has to somehow be introduced last seems to be very un-Manu like. I’m not saying they didn’t come to an “understanding” regarding him starting, but Manu doesn’t strike me as the type of player that really worries about whether he starts or not”

    I was referring to the deal he just signed not a new contract. And I know personally that Manu’s agent demanded that Manu be introduced last. I can’t reveal how I know but if you want proof get a copy of the video of pregame introductions before Manu signed his new deal and a copy of a video of player introductions immediately after signing his new deal.

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    @ karsten

    It’s the instrumental to “The People” by Common.

  • David G


    I doubt the Spurs would even honor that request to be introduced last and the loudest. The way Popovich is if a player “demanded” that I’d think Popovich would have the PA guy introduce Ginobili first and with no excitment…maybe even leave the lights on for Manu and then turn them off for the other four starters.

    He demanded to be introduced last…what a laugh!

  • Este

    I know it for a fact. As I mentioned earlier before the deal was signed Parker was introduced last after the deal was signed Ginobili was introduced last. Check the video if you can find it online somewhere.

  • Tyler

    @Este and duaneofly

    No doubt they can have “gentlemen’s agreements.” I misunderstood Este to mean they were trying to renegotiate his contract in respect to starting/introductions after it had been signed, which is against the rules.

  • Firebrand

    I really do not think any of the spurs players care which one of them is introduced last. The funny thing to me even tho we may be in the “twilight” of Tim Duncan’s career, as everyone has been saying for the past 2 years , he is still by far and away the most recognizable and important spur to the organization. While he is no longer as consistently dominant he is still more valuable to our team than Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker. So even if Manu DEMANDED to be introduced last idk it just seems laughable. Now it does seem likely he would tell pop that he wants more starting time and in my opinion this is the way to go.At this point manu while still explosive has lost a step and we no longer need him as our benches spark plug following the development of George Hill that is his responsibility now. I love the addition of Tiago Splitter and now wonder to myself what kind of interest is there for a trade involving Antonio Mcdyess. There is 4.5 million dollars just languishing on our bench in the form of his contract . It actually got to the point this offseason that I forgot we had “dice” on our team that was how quiet he was last season . With us signing T-split do we really need Mcdyess ?

  • Tyler

    On the topic of starting/introductions, I really think all this talk of egos and “I have to start” kind of stuff in overblown by fans, especially in SA.

    For example, I’ve lived in San Antonio my whole life, and it still amazes me how little respect TP gets from most Spurs’ fans. Reading some of the comments here and listening to others, you would think TP is some kind of egomaniac, me-first type of guy who is desperate to find a large market for him and his wife. When in reality, he hasn’t done or said much, on or off the court, that has indicated he’s that type of guy.

    I just have a hard time believing that TP or Manu have as big of egos as some would like to believe. After all, they’ve both signed reasonable contracts over the course of their careers (when they probably could have had more) and they’ve chosen to play in one of the smaller markets in the NBA.

    If it really was all about themselves, both probably would be somewhere else. But instead, they’ve “settled” for a po-dunk town (relative to the rest of the NBA) in South TX, away from all the glitz and glamour. When you look at what they’ve actually done and said, not just what they’ve “reportedly” said to some foreign newspaper, I think it’s ludicrous to label either as selfish in any way.

  • Tyler

    In fairness to Este, his agent might have in fact lobbied for Manu being introduced last, but whose to say it was on Manu’s orders? For all we know, maybe the team changed the intros up simply because Manu is by far the most popular player among Spurs’ fans and they wanted to save the loudest roar till the end….

  • ThatBigGuy

    Ever notice there aren’t any smooth moving Euros? But there are plenty of extremely effective Euros.

    Splitter will not win ROY because he won’t get the minutes or the shots that Wall or Griffin will get. However, Spliter is going to be the most important rookie on a contender this year. If he gives us 150% of 2005 Fabby, we will be dangerous.

  • Firebrand

    Tyler, I think that about sums it up. Although I must say when Amare purportedly said that he was talking to Parker and Melo about joining him in New York the basketball fan inside me began salivating. Im a spurs fan thru and thru but damn up until it came down to knicks vs Spurs I would have to root for that team…… but the knicks front office smokes rocks so it will probabaly never happen. Just as well I would like to keep Parker as a spur I am looking forward to a well rested frenchmen once again tearing up the paint and getting upwards of 20 ppg . That one year when he was shooting over 50 % from the field and leading the league b4 the all star game it was like poetry in motion.

  • Firebrand

    @ ThatBigGuy

    I liked Fab and think that Tiago will have a comparable passing game what I am looking for is a more accurate jump shooter for when Yimmy passes out of the post as well as a big that can slash to the basket like Dirk.

  • Firebrand

    lol Timmy not Yimmy

  • Este


    I happen to be in a position to know that Manu and his agent made the order of introductions apart of the new deal. I can’t say much more than that. Believe it or not I gain nothing by making it up.

  • Tyler

    The other question I have: Why is TP (as opposed to Manu) always cast in the selfish light?

    Is it because he doesn’t rack up assists like Nash or Paul? In his defense, our system isn’t designed for that type of PG. We aren’t built for players that dominate the ball. We’re built on spacing and motion. Plug Nash or Paul in our system, and no doubt their assist totals go down.

    Is it because he’s French? If he was from South America, would he be viewed differently? I used to think this idea was crazy, but after reading/posting on this blog for the last year or so, I’m starting to think differently.

    We Spurs fans are a peculiar breed…..

  • Tyler

    Comparing Tiago to Fab brings back memories. I would love to bring Fab back just to see the light gleam off that silver tooth and that yeah-I-just-got-out-of-the-shower-and-my-hair-is-still-as-greasy-as-it-was-before-I-got-in look that killed me…..

  • Este

    There isn’t a player of any relevance in the NBA or any major professional sports team that doesn’t have an ego. The problem is when the players ego and individual goals become more important than the team. Fortunately the Spurs have found guys who are living legends in their home countries like Parker and Ginobili who have kept their ego relatively in check for the good of the organization.

    If you’re Manu Ginobili and you are essentially Michael Jordan in Argentina but you’re asked to come off the bench behind guys like Mason or Finley or whoever it’s not going to always sit well with you. Now to Ginobili’s credit he did it and he never sniped to the media or anyone else about it but that doesn’t mean he was okay with it.

    And you can make the argument that playing time and who’s in the game at crunch time is more important but as we all know these guys are human and they do have egos. I understand that Ginobili making demands about player introductions contradicts the myth we as fans have created about Manu.

    In Ginobili’s defense he has sacrificed for the Spurs on more than one occasion and for him to make a minor contract demand at a time when he held all the leverage isn’t that big a deal. And don’t think the Spurs delay in offering a new contract didn’t bother him more than just a bit.

  • Firebrand

    well Tyler I have a couple of answers . A. Manu Ginobili is hispanic and Tony parker is french San Antonio is mostly hispanic . B. He married Eva Longoria and even tho she is a local girl (from corpus) the stigma is that because she is an actress she is stuck up and by association Tony Parker is also stuck up. I also think Tony’s brief foray into rap may have led people to believe he is about getting money and fame. I like that you brought up the point about Parker not getting a lot of assist, this bugs me to no end . Tony Parker is a scoring pg has always been and should always be his game is to penetrate to the paint and get the high percentage lay in, tear drop, etc….. Now if the D collapses he also has the ability to pass the ball out of traffic to the open man for a high percentage shot this is why Tony is a great point. To try and say like I hear some one say “man I wish he could have gotten maybe another assist or 2 then he would have a double double like Nash or Paul” ( I have heard these exact words btw) Kinda bothers me . At the end of the day I think its not about stats its about the rings my boy has three. Thats more than Paul ,Nash, D. williams, Rondo combined and he has a finals MVP so HA!

  • DieHardSpur


    In the ’08-’09 post season, I put together a spreadsheet for some of my friends who were comparing the best pointguards in the league.

    All averages were on post season play.

    Tony had a clear advantage in all categories, and was only beat by Nash who had 1.5 more assists, but less points. At this time I believe that Tony was around 22 ppg and 7 and change apg’s.

    That was the last 100% healthy Tony Parker we saw, a 22 and 7 PG. Tony’s points were lacking this year do to injury, but the drop in assists were not his fault, but the ability to knock down the open shot. How many times was the ball kicked out to the open man and he miss the wide open shot?

    Tony, when healthy, is by far the best finisher under the rim in the league. Not to mention he is the fastest guy in the league with the ball in his hands… I can only think of one other who might be faster and thats aaron brooks from the rockets.

    In my assesment, Tony is the best pointguard in the league for our system.

    Go ahead… I am waiting to hear all the rants about how full of it i am…

  • Firebrand

    Ok first things first here is vid from opening ceremonies of game one of the playoffs in dallas. If Ginobili wanted to be introduced last it would be that way here you would think. If for some reason it wont let you all view it i just went to youtube and typed in “Spurs introductions 2010” as shown in this vid neither Manu or Tony is introduced last it is George Hill who was filling in at the point for Tony Parker who was just coming back from injury. I would say myth busted.

  • Firebrand


    Very nice . The only pointguard that I like as much as Tony and who I think would fit our system perfectly is Rajon Rondo. I love this guys length his passing ability and his ability to get to the hoop . Recently he has been knocked on for his inaccuracy shooting the ball , much like Parker a few years back, but with a good shooting coach he will be able to fix that . His contract is comparable to what Parker received when we resigned him it comes out to 11 million a year. I got to say if the offer were on the table for us to get rondo this would be the only way I could give up Parker I would even throw in Mcdyess to boot lol. Bring the hate .

  • ThatBigGuy

    Rondo stopped driving to the basket by the Finals because his FT % was so bad. Parker never let un-exceptional FT % take him out of the game. He was always attacking the rim, because he knows that if he only makes 50% FT’s, he still drew a foul on a big guy. Rondo doesn’t do that because he hasn’t figured out that drawing fouls is just as important as making FT’s.

    If Rondo doesn’t drive, he doesn’t fit our system.

  • Firebrand

    hmmm this is true I totally forgot about Rondos free throw woes.

  • chloe

    thanks everyone for the help.

    i am pretty sure i get it, though the “low post/high post” sounds a little bit more vague than the lane which is the exact same thing as the paint, but i get the idea. only one more thing, sorry, but what is “the block” on the basketball court? it wasn’t on the firstbasesports glossary. is it exactly the same area as the “low post”?

  • Este


    I can’t speak for what they do on the road but I can tell you for a fact that immediately following Manu’s new deal that the order of introductions was changed so that Manu was introduced last. I will add that not only are Spurs fans followers of this blog but so are Spurs employees. I will leave it at that.

  • DieHardSpur

    Chloe – I wish my wife cared as much as you do…

    The block.
    There are hash marks where the players have to stand when one is shooting freethrows. There is a block in place of the hash at the second spot up from baseline.

    So, when a player is referenced to having “caught the ball on the block;” they are referring to thearea in the (close or onthe block) post from an angle that heeps him out of the paint so he doesnt get a 3 second violation, and he is still close enough for a lay up or turn around jumper if he can shake his defender. Timmy excelled in this position throughout his career. We are excited to have another option to work out of the post to relieve pressure off timmy during the regular season, thus he wont be wore down come post season like he was this past year.

    For the record – Splitter is supposed to be the best “Post” player we’ve had to compliment Duncan since David Robinson left in 2003.