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Players vital to postseason success (Insider)

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Three players were mentioned: Nick Collison (OKC), Shane Battier (Miami) and Tiago Splitter (San Antonio) Here's the take on Splitter: "Projected WARP: 4.2; current WARP: 3.9 Only Denver and Chicago have relied on role players more than San Antonio this season, but of course that is nothing new for Gregg Popovich's team. Splitter's minutes have been slipping of late, but he remains very important to what the Spurs do. Over his past 20 games, Splitter's usage rate has increased to more than 20 percent, but his true shooting percentage remains well over 60 percent. Players who can do more without losing efficiency are tremendously valuable. In terms of plus-minus, Splitter doesn't have as much of an impact as fellow role-playing big man Matt Bonner, but the two work in tandem to give Popovich the ability to load up in the paint or spread the floor as the situation dictates. In Splitter's case, not only does San Antonio's proficiency in the painted area increase with him on the floor, but his ability to collapse the defense opens up the corners. The Spurs shoot 46 percent on corner 3s with Splitter on the floor. Overall, San Antonio's true shooting percentage increases by 4.4 percent when Splitter plays. Splitter's defensive impact is more muted, but the Spurs hold steady on that end when he's on the court. Teams like to isolate him, but he's held his own in those situations, ranking 62nd in the league according to MySynergySports.com. The Los Angeles Lakers could be looming in the second round for the Spurs and Splitter is going to be a key to making Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol work when Tim Duncan is off the floor, though Popovich might opt to play them together a bit more often against L.A.'s twin towers."

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