Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/11/14
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is showing, shockingly, the one quality that is not shared among all the media talking heads -- the ability to keep an open mind and re-evaluate one’s thoughts and opinions. Most folks seem to make their first evaluation and stick with it.  So for this reason, kudos are in order for Mr. Stephen A. Smith. See, Smith, in the past, has never backed down from voicing his dislike for San Antonio Spurs' Tiago Splitter. However, Tiago’s improved performance this season seems to have changed his mind. For all the hoopla surrounding Tiago the past two seasons, expecting him to fit seamlessly in to the Spurs, was a bit much.  He was expected to be an updated version of the "Twin Towers" in the paint next to Tim Duncan.  But, we all know it takes a couple of seasons to fit in to the Spurs offense and earn Coach Popovich’s trust.  As his first two seasons progressed, Tiago was getting more minutes and more touches.  Coach Popovich still didn’t have the faith to put give him crunch time minutes.  This lack of faith was shown during the Oklahoma City series.  As the series progressed, Tiago was getting fewer and fewer minutes down the stretch.  To Tiago’s credit he didn’t mail it in and go in to a shell.  The Olympics came at a great time for him.  Being a part of the Brazilian team gave him an opportunity to work on improving his confidence and getting crucial crunch minutes.   So with the "Big 3" all missing time during the season, the opportunity for a bigger role presented itself.  Splitter was ready to take advantage by producing improved stats from last season.  If Tiago continues with the increase in production, a larger role with a longer leash will be in the works for the Playoffs. Aron Baynes would be suited well to take time and speak with Tiago.  Having gone through the acclimation process recently, he would be a valuable asset for Aron to lean on when going through the expectations that are present with the Spurs system. Now, if Smith can only realize the Spurs are for real this season, that would be a miracle.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.