Edg5 and I have gone back and forth about Tiago Splitter being an elite defender or not. I really lost it when both Edg5 and JRW said that Tiago was an ALL WORLD defender. I couldn't believe what my eyes were reading. Well, I took the plunge to see if Tiago was really not only an All NBA defender but an All World Defender.
Oliver, Dean (2004)
4 Most important basketball stats: FG%, turnovers, O-rebounds, FTs
Therefore the most important defensive stats would be OppFG%, Forced Turnovers, D-rebounds, Fouls. I have taken these stats and put them into a database with all of the center and center/forwards in the league. The players were given points based on their rank in each category. A ranking of number one gave 10 points. The points decrease by one after that, unless there is a tie in rank, and then the points decrease based on how many ties there are.
The number one 5 man unit to keep Opponent’s Field Goal % the lowest in the league at 36minutes is Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan. That same lineup is 4th in the league for opponent’s points allowed and is a +/- of 44. It has a defensive rating of .79 opponent points per possession.
The lineup featuring Tiago Splitter replacing Boris Diaw isn’t even in the top 50. That lineup with Tiago Splitter ranks 36th in the league and is a +/- of -8. It has a defensive rating of .94 opponent points per possession.
I didn't use any pictures or video because I feel that they are not a valid source. Anyone with the time could find a picture of Tiago getting dunked on or Tiago breaking up a play. The picture itself does not prove nor disprove whether or not Tiago is an elite defender. With Tiago on the court, the Spurs do not have their best defensive unit on the floor. Tiago is redundant with Tim Duncan on the floor. Besides, at the end of the day, it's all about the numbers and the numbers say that Tiago is a great defender but he is not even the best center/forward defender on his own team, let alone the NBA or even the WORLD.
STATS courtesy of: