Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 2/7/13
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

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Russell Wilson contract increases likelihood of change

Jim Harbaugh doesn’t care if he’s popular

Johnny Manziel struggles in first day of Browns camp

Report: Wilson, Seahawks agree to four-year, $86.7M contract

Jonathan Papelbon thinks he became ‘scapegoat’ for Phillies

Padres don’t sell at trade deadline, reportedly because AJ Preller still believes in team

First photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s injured hand emerge

Stop kvetching about Notre Dame, please

Rebuttal banner supporting Tom Brady flies over Pats practice

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

LeSean McCoy cancels party, but it wasn't some 'weird orgy'

Redskins making huge mistake by signing Junior Galette

New Blue Jay David Price got a flat tire on his way to Toronto

Five of the worst baseball trades since 2000

Famed ballboy Red Lightning spotted at Falcons camp

Rickie Fowler aces final hole, treats media to free beers

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

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker