Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/8/14
The lack of size in the San Antonio Spurs' front court isn't a secret.  Boris Diaw and DeJuan Blair are both undersized.  Matt Bonner is a surprisingly good post defender (in addition to his obvious shooting prowess).  Then there's Tiago Splitter.  Tiago's really good, you guys.  He can score in the low post, he's a great roll man, he can pass.  He can rebound pretty well and he can defend the post.  He's so skilled that if he got starter minutes, we'd be talking about Tiago Splitter as an All-Star candidate. There were just a couple of problems Splitter's first two seasons in the league.  The first is that between injuries and the lockout, Splitter never had a full training camp to acclimate himself to the Spurs' system.  It appeared that in his second year he was beginning to pick up the Spurs' offense but his ability to adapt to the Spurs defensive system lagged.  This was especially true in the playoffs when he looked lost at times on the court.  Second, the Spurs haven't figured out how to use Splitter and Duncan together.  Both have high basketball I.Q.'s, both can pass and if Splitter goes to the low block, Duncan can step out and shoot a 15-18 footer.  For all of the above reasons, you would think coach Gregg Popovich will figure out a way to get them on the court together especially against team like the Lakers, Grizzlies and Mavs, all teams that still frequently use a two big system. Don't let Splitter's post season, especially his lackluster series against the Thunder, dissuade you from his value.  Splitter's per 40 minute numbers were staggeringly good.  He averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds per 40 minutes last season.  He's a deadly pick and roll partner with Manu Ginobili and makes defenders pay who allow him to get deep post position.  According to NBA Advanced Stats, Splitter show 72 percent from the free throw line, which is obnoxious for a guy that uses a funky baby hook more than he dunks. It's easy to say Kawhi Leonard's development in year two is the most important ingredient to an improved Spurs' season.  It is going to become incredibly important, especially if he can become a lockdown defender.  However, improvement from Splitter is even more important than Leonard.  An improved Splitter means easier baskets, hopefully more stops on defense and more rest for Tim Duncan.  We're all watching Kawhi Leonard's development, but let's not forget about Splitter's improvement as he enters his third year (and first with a full training camp) with the Spurs.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

J.R. Smith promises to be better person, player after suspension

The importance of the Clippers' bench against the Spurs

Trading up for QB in first round is a risky proposition

Madison Bumgarner rips Max Scherzer over thoughts on DH

Hamilton: Angels knew what the risks were with signing me

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

MLB could move Orioles’ home games to another city

Kyle Lowry isn't exactly endorsing coach Dwayne Casey

J.R. Smith suspended two games for hitting Jae Crowder

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Kevin Love not expected to be available next series

Titans have reportedly been 'all over' Marcus Mariota

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

J.J. Watt writes note for fan to get out of work for charity event

Orioles VP reacts to Baltimore protests with passionate tweets

Should the Warriors be worried about extended rest?

WATCH: Paul Pierce bangs glass at Capitals-Islanders Game 7

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

Report: Brady was at stadium day of White House visit

Arkansas has leather belt to commemorate Texas Bowl win

John Angelos, Orioles got it right with Freddie Gray protest

Belichick's girlfriend fine with coach checking out Teigen

V. Stiviano posts birthday message to 'BFF' Donald Sterling

Mark Cuban and the inevitable playoff peril of the Mavs

NBA 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

Tampa restaurant offers Jameis Winston free crab legs

Hamilton: Angels knew the risks

Jon Jones turns himself into police, facing felony charge

MLB could move Orioles’ home games

Duke takes over as the No. 1 recruiting class

Titans have been 'all over' Mariota?

Doc Rivers tore into Clippers after loss

Worst picks ever by every NFL franchise

Report: Cowboys not in on Peterson

NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the QBs

Top 10 storylines for the 2015 NFL Draft

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

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.