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Spurs fans like what they see in Tiago Splitter

Sep 1, 2010, 2:13 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Tsplitter.jpgTiago Splitter was solid and professional, not spectacular. A guy who got things done but without flair.

That is to say, he was a Spur.

Tiago Splitter — who joins the Spurs this fall — got a real test against NBA talent when Brazil took on the United States in the FIBA World Championships. Well, frankly he got a lot of real tests playing in the ABC, the top Spanish league the last couple years. But we stateside fans have gotten few real good comparisons we’ve gotten to watch of him against NBA talent. We did Monday.

Splitter had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Spurs fans loved what they saw, as the San Antonio Express-News Spurs Blog shows (thanks for the heads up Andy).

Splitter’s final line — 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals and a block — is one he ought to be able to approximate on a nightly basis with the Spurs. He was 6-of-12 from the floor, scoring most of his points on pick-and-rolls, flashing that basketball IQ the Spurs have been raving about. Splitter doesn’t appear to be much of a one-on-one post scorer — though he did throw in one nice jump hook — but then again the Spurs aren’t asking him to average 20 points per game…

Defensively is where Splitter shone brightest, both physically and intellectually. His pick-and-roll defense — an area of concern for the Spurs last season — was superb. His soaring block of Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, hinted at Splitter’s athleticism. Splitter was also good defending Lamar Odom in one-on-one situations.

Splitter outplayed Lamar Odom, but that often has more to do with Odom’s head than anything any opponent does.

Still, it was a positive. You can see him coming off the bench for Antonio McDyess and the Spurs getting better at the five. You can see Splitter finishing games. And you can see him making smart plays.

He is not going to blow you away with his athleticism, but he’s plenty athletic. He is not Dirk Nowitizki shooting, but he shoots well. He does not bring the energy that DeJuan Blair does off the Spurs bench, but he’ll bring professionalism and a high basketball IQ.

He’ll be a Spur. A vintage Spur.

  1. will - Sep 1, 2010 at 3:51 AM

    Your writing has become formulaic Kurt. “He’s not x, but he is y.” And you’ve got the one-sentence paragraph as well as the seemingly obligatory clipped sentences. You’ve got freedom with this blog, man. Show a little creativity.

  2. tress - Sep 1, 2010 at 6:17 AM

    He had 4 pts in the second half.

  3. Saulscream - Sep 1, 2010 at 6:37 AM

    Cant wait for the NBA this season, Go Spurs Go he’s a great add on the Spurs are smart like that.

  4. Brandan - Sep 1, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    had 4 points in the second half but let’s not forget this was an insanely defensive second half in which not only him but everyone from both team remained scoreless for long periods of time. And the most important factor was not mentioned, he is only 21. When he adapt to the NBA training and high tempo gameplay he cn be insanely good.

  5. johnmaine - Sep 1, 2010 at 7:45 AM

    Awesome ACC college football preview:

  6. dball - Sep 1, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    I wonder if he’ll cry when The Lakers knock out The Spurs in the 2nd round?

  7. Davesa - Sep 1, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    They stopped giving him the ball after huertas went out. Once they were back in together, he got a couple more looks late in the fourth. He looks like a super charged version of oberto. I bet Manu is at home salivating for a chance to play with him

  8. Wayne - Sep 1, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    Anyone else think his game is really awkward and wonder why he is so effective? I lost count of how many times I thought he shot a jumphook from his hip.

  9. Carlos - Sep 1, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    I agree with you, but he ´s already 25 ..not 21

  10. Titletown99030507 - Sep 2, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    Splitter’s game awkward. So is Manu’s but we seen what that’s given us.
    Consider Splitter a big Manu but younger.

  11. Rob - Sep 2, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    He’s 25.

  12. BigJeezie - Sep 2, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    It’s the ACB league, not ABC.

  13. Anonymous - Sep 2, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Screw the Lakers

  14. thiago - Sep 3, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    he´s returning from a contusion and he didn´t play before the tournment. 16 point, 8 rebouts is what
    he can do easely do for the spurs. i think it´s enough to
    the 28th pick.

  15. Mo - Sep 3, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    I think Splitter will do just fine, He has the pontential to be another Ginobili just playing a diffrent position, bud with his IQ of world basketball and acb league will help him adjust to the nba, remember all the other players like Gausol, Ginobili and Scola , and even tergulu from the phoenix suns they all have some thing in common playing over sea and then making the transition to the nba and their all successful, and ther’s two of the group that i just mention, already have won 5 titles well let me correct my self that’s three Ginobili,Parker with 3 and Gausol with 2 Let me rephrase myself I for got to mention Parker in my list so that makes three international players with nba titles and Splitter looks like a more prospect then Scola and tergulu to win a title before I hope i’m right and with the San Antonio Spurs he really looks like more pontential to do it first because just mentioning their respecting teams he have more chances just that a lone. “Go Spurs Go”.

  16. Ted - Sep 3, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    I love how the spurs promote the team first. Which comes from having leaders who have the team first way of thinking. Splitter looks like someone who will help them right away . Tim may be older but he is one of the smartiest basketball players to ever play the game. He will find a way to win. I put him up there with Lary Bird. I think Splitter has a high baskteball IQ too. Good fit.

  17. Josiah - Sep 4, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    Splitter look really good..if they didnt hate on him he was open a couple of time and they didnt get him the ball.

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