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.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Danny Ainge: Celtics 'having a lot of discussions' about trades

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

Russell Wilson changes agents ahead of big payday

Dolphins CB: Brady needs to 'wake up' about playing into 40s

Bears to bench Jay Cutler, start Jimmy Clausen

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Wes Welker once pulled funny UGG prank on Tom Brady

Wil Myers heads to Padres in 11-player, 3-team trade

Bo Pelini calls Nebraska AD a ‘c–t’ and ‘p-ssy’

49ers release Ray McDonald

Take your pick: Colin Kaepernick or Derek Carr

Reports: Michigan makes huge offer to Harbaugh

Ranking the most underrated players in the NBA

Darrelle Revis feels sad for Rex Ryan

Five reasons why Oregon will win College Football Playoff

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason so far

Report: Celtics in serious trade talks involving Rondo

WATCH: Brandon Jennings makes mind-boggling play

WATCH: Drake intros Raptors on 'Drake Night'

Brian Billick owns Browns fan over Johnny Manziel criticism

WATCH: Did Flyers' Giroux wipe boogers on linesman’s back?

Royals sign Edinson Volquez to 2-year deal

12 candidates to replace Paul Chryst at Pitt

Brad Halsey claimed he was on cocaine for Bonds record HR

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.

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

C's in serious trade talks about Rondo

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

RG3 quits social media for season

Each NFL division’s MVP

Five NFLers who must step up in Week 16

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.