FanPost

The enigma that is Splitter

USA TODAY Sports


I'm going to take a shot at this. And as unrefined, course and not as well written as it could be, I hope the heart of the piece can be received with an open mind to what the intentions are meant.

Much discussion has been made regarding the "quick" decision of PATFO signing Tiago Splitter. Many great points, both pro and con, have been justifiably made. So I hope this does not morph into a rehash of already well documented matters. What I'd like to see is the opinion of what everyone thinks will warrant Tiago's new contract.

For starters, I think a reference to Splitter's numbers is in order. Sorry. I know it easier to have a screen shot posted at this time. So please indulge in switching back and forth. Or if someone is willing....post it while commenting.

What will excuse (or prove) PATFO for making their decision quickly?

1.) I think first and foremost is continuity. Team chemistry. And all around perception of importance regarding the group as a whole. Splitter's first year with the team was maybe not as expected according to the hype prior to joining the Spurs. But it had to be tempered with the fact he was injured for the majority of that season and Pop's notorious under use of rookie players.

2.) Season two. Per 36 gave new found hope Tiago was every bit a good decision as picked in the draft. He was mostly healthy for the regular season which allowed Popovich to incorporate Spliter more into the rotation. He did not disappoint as his advanced stats will indicate. But, (and valid to a point), some may refer to Tiago's poor playoff performance in 2011-2012 if they forget he was once again hampered by injury to his wrist during that time. But prior to that injury in the playoffs, Tiago was performing as well as could be and sometimes better than some would anticipate. What could he improve upon in season three?

3.) Season three. Here's where it gets interesting. Compared to the 11'-12' season Tiago, being he finally broke into playing 81 games and started 58, one would have thought his per 36 would have significantly rose. When In fact , they remained virtually the same with slight drop offs in total production. But three stats stick out in the advanced category that I think makes the most important case. OWS, DWS, and OW. In the OWS category, Tiago's presence on the court increased Spurs wins by 1.7 over the previous season. DWS he helped double the amount compared to last season. And in total WS, a superb 8.2 compared to 4.6 the previous season.

Now what do the stats suggest? Depends on one's view of advanced stats and how much importance one places in them. Is there indication Splitter has improved the past three seasons? Evidence shows as much.

What must Tiago Splitter do to warrant his new deal? How much more does he need to improve to warrant his new deal? Do people believe he can improve to the point of warranting his new deal? If Tiago stays par as last year but significantly improves in his second year of the new deal will that warrant his new contract?

Those I leave up to individual speculation. For me it's also in how Splitter is used which will or will not improve his individual performances. Paired with the optimum personnel on the court at the time which will take advantage of his strengths is as important as him individually improving. And while some players in the league received less per year for their respected strengths in their game to join another team, some are also getting overpaid by far more than what Tiago's new contract pertains to the Spurs.

Only time will tell with this new contract. But time has been favorable for Splitter and the Spurs with every year being an improvement over the last. Perhaps the Rolling Stones "Time is on my Side" will correctly be a theme with which positive fruition will eventually apply. Perhaps new assistant coach Boylen will help improve Tiago's numbers to "acceptable" in terms of his contract.

It all depends if your the type that has faith it might happen compared to those who hold fear it won't.

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