Originally posted 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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Chip Kelly in danger of losing Eagles locker room

Ronda Rousey issues warning: Call me fat and I'll kill you

What does Tevin Coleman’s return mean for Devonta Freeman?

Antonio Cromartie: Odell Beckham Jr. a ‘one hit wonder’

Thompson fires shots at Clippers: ‘Didn’t they lose to the Rockets?’

'Sell high' and 'buy low' fantasy candidates


Marshawn Lynch ruled out by Seahawks for Week 5

Howard says he played through torn MCL, meniscus in playoffs

Bills offensive progress stalled by injuries

Bruins’ Zac Rinaldo: Raffi Torres’ suspension 'really opened my eyes’

Cowboys’ Sean Lee cleared to play vs. Patriots after concussion battle

NHL Dept. of Player Safety inconsistent with discipline?

WATCH: Prince Fielder wipes out trying to climb over dugout railing

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

What’s wrong with Ohio State’s offense?

Weeden: ‘I don’t need a 12-yr-old telling me how to play’

Fan at Texas A&M game was so drunk, he reportedly told police he was at Baylor vs. Texas Tech

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Mallett’s dad: Criticism of QB makes his grandmothers cry

LSU has sold a disappointing amount of tickets for South Carolina game

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of the college football season

Dalton motivated by getting booed at celebrity softball game

Which undefeated college team has best résumé?

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard, image & Houston's title chances

10 unheralded NFL players who will impact Week 5

Five potential upsets in NFL Week 5

Why the Carolina Panthers are the NFL's next super power

NHL Department of Player Safety inconsistent in disciplining players?

Explaining the silence on Thabo Sefolosha’s police brutality trial

Six biggest matchups in Week 6 of CFB

Joe Maddon's defensive calculus

Sepp Blatter appeals FIFA suspension

Looking at four NHL goaltenders who debuted for new teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker