San Antonio Spurs Will Miss Tiago Splitter

By George Middleton

Tiago Splitter disappointed last season. The 30-year old center battled a right calf injury, which led to his inconsistency throughout the season. Splitter played in only 52 games and he failed to take the next step as an individual like many believed he would.

Last season Splitter averaged 8.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. In the postseason Splitter’s averages dipped to 3.4 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Many believed Splitter would turn into a reliable center after he signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Spurs in 2013. Splitter’s best season came in 2012-13 when he averaged 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Splitter was traded in the offseason to the Atlanta Hawks for Georgios Printezis and a future second-round pick.

The main reason Splitter will be missed, rim protection.

Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center

Tyson Chandler

(6) defends against San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With Splitter gone, the Spurs will heavily rely on Tim Duncan in this area. Off the bench, the Spurs will have to interchange forwards David West and Boris Diaw. Neither West or Diaw are capable of playing center, which means that the Spurs will have to have Duncan or LaMarcus Aldridge on the floor most of the time.

It’s easy to say we don’t need Splitter, if you are a Spurs fan. Especially after acquiring four-time NBA All-Star Aldridge and a former two-time All-Star in West. Once the season begins Spurs fans will realize that Splitter was an important piece for the Spurs.

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The truth is, the Spurs needed to get rid of Splitter to clear space for Aldridge.

Splitter will forever be remembered by Spurs fans, as he helped the team win a championship in 2014.

Expect Splitter to help the Hawks bench significantly, as they already have a tandem of Paul Millsap and Al Horford down low.

Next: Tim Duncan Will Play At A High Level in 2015-16