Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 11/17/14
There's an incredible emergence from San Antonio Spurs starting center Tiago Splitter. Described as a disappointment his first two years, he's now seen an improvement in his play that's energized the team. He's been running the floor, defending better, rebounding, and making his free throws. Some may argue that we shouldn't be too surprised at this new Splitter as its final year on his contract, but Splitter has a different take on it: "I think it's a matter of trust. What I do now as I did before in my career in Europe, but now I do it with confidence....I know I'm going to have my minutes, my time in court and I know I can fail" (ESPNDeportes.com) It seems the pressure is off of Splitter now that he can play his game without worrying about if he'll get benched or not. He's running the floor quicker and not second guessing if he should pass or shoot. He's also developed an inside game with a hook shot, something he hadn't had the last two years. While Tiago gives us a different explanation, there might still be a fear he's over performing because he's looking for a longer and bigger contract next year. Either way, the Spurs have one goal this year and that's to win another NBA title. Whether Splitter is playing up to his potential or playing for a new deal, the Spurs and their fans are hoping he can keep this up when the playoffs begin. With a more active Splitter starting, that likely makes Tim Duncan the fourth or fifth option unless needed to put his stamp on the game. This saves Duncan's knees and keeps him healthy for the drive to a fifth NBA championship. A more active Splitter also leaves Spurs fans with a better picture of what they can expect once their current core of stars retire. He's still young at 28 years old and with the league being less physical, it could help Tiago's long term future with his athleticism and height. Spurs fans will keep tuning in to see if Tiago can keep it up, but at least Splitter knows he's earned his minutes out there with his play and there's no short leash to his minutes.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Shanahan: injuries are not why Robert Griffin III struggles

Kyle Korver ruled out for remainder of playoffs

Randy Moss attends cancer survivor's graduation

Roger Staubach shares thoughts on Greg Hardy

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

French Open Women's preview: Who will make the quarters?

WATCH: Bryan Price gets ejected before game starts

WATCH: Vin Scully narrates fan's marriage proposal

WATCH: Harper, Matt Williams have special handshake

The Yankees are succeeding despite the numbers

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

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

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.