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  1. #1
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    Currently, nothing makes Spurs fans as perturbed as Gregg Popovich opting for Matt Bonner ahead of Tiago Splitter. While it's not always the case, for the last few weeks, the line between the team's third and fourth bigman has definitely blurred.

    Looking at minutes player per game for the season, it appears as if Splitter (19.8 minutes) is the preferred choice over Bonner (17.2 minutes). A closer look, however, shows things aren't as clear as they seem. In the last five games, the gap has narrowed -- 17.8 minutes per game for Splitter, 17.4 minutes per game for Bonner.

    Going further, when games are close, Pop has shown he trusts Bonner more. In the first half of games, Bonner averages 9.8 minutes for the season, while Splitter average 9.6 minutes. Additionally, Splitter has played 38.6% more garbage minutes this season than Bonner (with garbage minutes determined as time when either team is up by 15 or more points).

    Why Are Spurs Fans Frustrated?

    First of all, Splitter has been productive in his playing time. The highly touted bigman from Brazil via Spain has been sizzling over the last eight games. In that span of games, Splitter is averaging 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in only 17.9 minutes per night, while shooting a ridiculous 75.8% from the field. Early in the season, he was struggling to finish on the low block, but he has obviously solved those issues.

    Bonner, on the other hand, has stalled. In those same eight games, he's averaging 4.0 points and 3.1 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game, while shooting 41.1% from the floor and 31.6% from beyond the three-point arc.

    Looking at those numbers alone, I can't blame Spurs fans for second-guessing Pop. That said, the frustration goes deeper. Bonner, even when he's played well in the regular season, has routinely been a playoff disappointment. Fans of the team are tired of the Spurs getting burned by a player who has a history of not producing when he's needed most.

    And with Splitter, Spurs fans see two things that remind them of the championship days: defensive ability and size. This season, Splitter has done great work protecting the rim. His rate of blocked shots is through the roof compared to his rookie season and he can be counted on to at least alter shots near the basket. At nearly 7-feet and equipped with long arms, Splitter looks like the type of player that has been by Tim Duncan's side to help anchor elite defensive units.

    As for Bonner, no one has ever accused him of protecting the rim and though he's 6-foot-10 in shoes, his short arms and limited athleticism make his practical height closer to 6-foot-8.

    So, What's Pop Thinking?

    Although Pop rarely if ever tells the media why he does what he does, a few conclusions can be made based on his rotations as of late.

    1. Pop believes Duncan and Splitter are both centers
    Of course Pop would never admit this because he swears up and down that Duncan is a power forward, but it's plain to see otherwise. During his rookie campaign, Splitter played next to Duncan for a grand total of 30 minutes during the regular season. This year, the two have played together for 67 minutes -- a paltry 4.5 minutes per game.

    2. Pop doesn't trust Splitter defending the perimeter
    When Pop does play Duncan and Splitter together, it's almost always when the opposition has two traditional bigmen on the court. However, if a team is utilizing a three-point shooting bigman or has gone small, Pop almost always splits up the Duncan and Splitter tandem.

    As examples, Pop played Duncan and Splitter together in overtime against the Rockets when Houston had Luis Scola and Samuel Dalembert on the court. On the other hand, when the Magic had three-point specialist Ryan Anderson next to Dwight Howard, Pop decided to counter with a small ball lineup in overtime.

    3. Pop values Bonner's ability to spread the floor
    Whenever the offense bogs down and the other team is packing the paint, Pop's go-to move is to insert Bonner. This is obviously mostly a subjective observation, however there is some statistical proof: In games the Spurs enter the fourth quarter with 75 points or less, Bonner is averaging 19.9 minutes. In the rest of the games, Bonner plays 13.7 minutes per outing.

    Why Does Pop Suddenly Value Offense So Much?

    When trying to figure out what Pop is thinking, it's important to remember that he was an assistant coach for two men: Larry Brown and Don Nelson. Brown is arguably the best defensive coach of all-time and Pop undoubtedly learned a lot from him. But don't forget about Nelson, who is regarded as the most innovative offensive coaches in history.

    When Pop was an assistant under Nelson, the Warriors were a team that won with offense. Nelson relied on three-point shooting and often used small lineups -- especially when trailing. In fact, in Pop's last season in Golden State, the Warriors spent much of the season starting a rookie Chris Webber at center and 6-foot-8, 220-pound Billy Owens at power forward.

    Nelson's way of coaching became known as Nellie Ball. Here's Wikipedia's definition:
    Nellie ball is an unconventional offensive strategy in basketball developed by NBA head coach Don Nelson. It is a fast-paced offense relying on smaller, more athletic players who can create mismatches by outrunning their opponents. A true center is usually not needed to run this type of offense. A large volume of three-point attempts is generally a staple of Nellie Ball as well.
    Slowly but surely, Pop has transitioned the Spurs from a team that relies on defense to a team that relies on his version of Nellie Ball. His thinking, I'm assuming, is that without David Robinson and without a Bruce Bowen in his prime, you can't simply keep trying to win the same way and ignore that the team lacks an all-time great defender to pair with Duncan.

    If you want to point to a specific breaking point, I'd point to the second half of the 2007-08 season. While the team's defense remained elite, the offense began to stall. The second half of that season featured numerous scoring droughts, which carried over into the playoffs. During the 2008 postseason, the Spurs scored 92 or fewer points in all eight of their losses. In the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers, the Spurs lost in five games even though they held Los Angeles to 93.4 points per game -- 15.2 points below their regular season average. In fact, the Spurs held the Lakers to fewer points in the WCF than the Celtics and their legendary defense did in the Finals.

    Pop's reaction to the sputtering offense was to put an end to the Bowen era and input Michael Finley, Matt Bonner and Roger Mason, Jr. into the starting lineup the following season. As expected, the offense improved in 2008-09. And, inevitably, the defense regressed.

    The culmination of the transformation was last season. The 2010-11 Spurs scored 111.8 points per 100 possessions, the best mark in franchise history. Riding that wave of scoring to go along with the league's 11th ranked defense, San Antonio finished the year at 61-21.

    Best Offenses in Spurs History
    1. 2010-11 - 111.8
    2. 1994-95 - 111.7
    3. 1983-84 - 111.2
    4. 1993-94 - 110.4
    5. 1995-96 - 110.2

    Pop has apparently conceded that the Spurs can no longer be a dominant defensive team, so in order to be successful in the regular season, the team must be an elite offensive team. That way of thinking has continued this season. The Spurs are 10-5 despite a defense that is ranked 19th in the league. How is that possible? Their offense is the league's fourth best, which is especially impressive considering Manu Ginobili has been sidelined a majority of the season.

    But Isn't Splitter an Asset on Offense?

    If you look at Splitter's stats, one would assume he's a player who helps the Spurs on the offensive end. On the season, he's shooting 58.9% from the floor and, right now at least, he's the team's best low post scorer -- and that's including Duncan. Splitter is averaging a very respectable 14.9 points per 40 minutes and has improved his free throw percentage from 54.3% as a rookie to 71.4% this year.

    Unfortunately, advanced statistical analysis shows that Splitter is an offensive liability. And an undeniable liability at that.

    As a rookie, the Spurs averaged 97.8 points per 48 minutes Splitter was on the court. That was far and away the worst mark on the team.

    Team Points Per 48 Minutes
    Manu Ginobili - 107.8
    Matt Bonner - 104.6
    Tim Duncan - 104.5
    George Hill - 103.1
    DeJuan Blair - 102.9
    Tony Parker - 102.7
    Gary Neal - 102.6
    Richard Jefferson - 102.4
    Antonio McDyess - 100.9
    Tiago Splitter - 97.8

    This season, that trend has continued. The Spurs are averaging only 94.8 points per 48 minutes when Splitter is playing, which is again by far the lowest number on the team.

    When Splitter and Duncan are on the court together, the offense stagnates even further. In the 67 minutes the two have played together this season, the Spurs are averaging 85.3 points per 48 minutes. It's a very good defensive tandem (92.4 points allowed per 48 minutes) but not good enough to overcome the lack of scoring.

    Ironically, the player Splitter flourishes next to is Bonner. In the 161 minutes the two have played together, the Spurs average 98.8 points per 48 minutes. When Splitter plays without Bonner on the court, the Spurs average just 90.1 points per 48 minutes.

    And that brings up a point that Pop obviously knows very well: Unlike with Splitter, the Spurs score better when Bonner is on the court. In the previous three seasons, the Spurs have scored 4.9 more points per 100 possessions when Bonner is on the court. So far in Splitter's career, the Spurs score 5.6 points less per 100 possessions when he's on the court. That's a spread of 10.5 points per 100 possessions (which translates to about 9.8 points per game for these Spurs), and for a coach who is in running a team that currently wins with a version of Nellie Ball, that evidently isn't something he can look past too easily.

    Is Splitter Doomed as a Spur?

    I do not believe so. While it's impossible to argue against him being a liability on offense right now, it's not an irreparable situation.

    The main reason why the offense dies when Splitter enters the game is he has a bad habit of dominating possession after possession. In Europe, that was expected out of him because he was the team's number one option -- especially after Luis Scola left for the NBA. Each time up the court, his team either ran a pick-and-roll with him or posted up him up. With the Spurs, Splitter oftentimes plays the same way he did in Europe. However, now that he's no longer the number one option, that simply won't work.

    Instead of calling for the ball in the post or going out to set a screen virtually every time up the court, Splitter has to learn how to better blend into the action. Like Fabricio Oberto before him, Splitter's best role in the NBA on offense is a complementary one in which he spends most of the time on the weakside of the court. Additionally, Splitter could be an efficient weapon if he learned how to pick and choose his spots to take advantage of mismatches in the low block.

    The stats backup the theory that Splitter dominates the action too much when he's on the court. In his rookie season, the Spurs got assists on their made field goals 5% less often when Splitter was on the court. This season, that number is again 5% less when Splitter plays.

    An area in which Splitter has actually regressed is turnovers. Last season, he averaged 1.7 turnovers per 40 minutes. This year, he's averaging 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes. To put that in perspective, Duncan has never averaged that many turnovers per 40 minutes. David Robinson never averaged that many turnovers per 40 minutes. Neither Parker nor Ginobili has ever averaged that many turnovers per 40 minutes. Needless to say, Splitter being a turnover machine is a big reason the Spurs struggle to score when he's on the court.

    If Splitter really wants to get in Pop's good graces, adding a jumper would go a long way. This season, he's 2-for-3 on jumpers between 10 and 15 feet. If he can take and make that shot with consistency, that would make it much easier for Splitter and Duncan to co-exist. It was that exact shot that Oberto added to his repertoire that allowed him to adequately space the court next to Duncan.

    Going forward, there's plenty of time for Splitter to earn Pop's trust. Remember, Pop leaned on Blair less and less last year as the season progressed. If that happens again this year, one would imagine that Splitter would be a beneficiary. Also, injuries will continue to be a main theme of this lockout condensed season. With such a shallow stable of bigmen on this team, all it will take is one twisted ankle for Splitter to suddenly be penciled in for major minutes each night.

    What Would You Do?

    Prior to the beginning of the season, I thought that the Spurs would need to rely heavily on Splitter to truly become a championship contender. Fifteen games into the season and my opinion remains the same. I want Pop to play Splitter as much as possible. Yes, he hurts the offense right now, but he needs to play to learn how to better mesh with his teammates. If it means a few more regular season losses, so be it.

    Even with the improvements of the offense, I believe that the Spurs still need to be a top seven or eight defensive team if they want to make a strong playoff push. The only way that will happen, in my view, is if Splitter is playing approximately 30 minutes per game. Outside of that, the Spurs will remain on the fringe of the title talk.

    I commend Pop for being able to drastically change the equation and still win games at a torrid pace. That said, Pop needs to be reminded of the numbers 1,335 and 0: the former is the number of wins Don Nelson had in the regular season, the latter is the number of times a Don Nelson coached team reached the Finals.

  2. #2
    uups stups! Cant_Be_Faded's Avatar
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    Interesting. Again, the statistics belie what I see what my own eyes.

    I agree Splitter blatantly dominates possessions, but is the difference in offense really that drastic? And does it really matter if he makes us better defensively?

    I mean, the numbers are there--we score less points with Splitter on the court...but that's only one side of the equation...if we score X amount less with him on the court, but the other team scores X+1 less with him on the court, doesn't that make him an overall asset to this team, and a necessary player for us?

    Furthermore, how is Pop so sure Duncan+Splitter cannot work, when he hasn't even really tried it? He must be scared shitless of dropping unnecessary games with experimentation and missing the playoffs.

    In either case, thanks timvp
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  3. #3
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    It's really too bad that the Spurs didn't have those statistics printed out last year. Waving them at the Grizzlies certainly could have turned the postseason around.

  4. #4
    Veteran MaNu4Tres's Avatar
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    Good write up

    The notion that the Spurs score less with Splitter and Duncan on the floor together isn't an accurate assessment given the really small sample size of 67 minutes.

    I'd like to see Pop utilize both Splitter and Duncan together waaaaay more often, that way the Spurs can gauge a real accurate assessment of how productive the team could be with those two on the floor together (67 minutes is laughable). The reality is, we still don't know and this thing is going on two years already.
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  5. #5
    Brazil - So so English xD BRs.Ganso's Avatar
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    too long

    please make a podcast
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  6. #6
    Veteran MaNu4Tres's Avatar
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    But Isn't Splitter an Asset on Offense?

    If you look at Splitter's stats, one would assume he's a player who helps the Spurs on the offensive end. On the season, he's shooting 58.9% from the floor and, right now at least, he's the team's best low post scorer -- and that's including Duncan. Splitter is averaging a very respectable 14.9 points per 40 minutes and has improved his free throw percentage from 54.3% as a rookie to 71.4% this year.

    Unfortunately, advanced statistical analysis shows that Splitter is an offensive liability. And an undeniable liability at that.

    As a rookie, the Spurs averaged 97.8 points per 48 minutes Splitter was on the court. That was far and away the worst mark on the team.

    Team Points Per 48 Minutes
    Manu Ginobili - 107.8
    Matt Bonner - 104.6
    Tim Duncan - 104.5
    George Hill - 103.1
    DeJuan Blair - 102.9
    Tony Parker - 102.7
    Gary Neal - 102.6
    Richard Jefferson - 102.4
    Antonio McDyess - 100.9
    Tiago Splitter - 97.8

    In fairness, Tiago played the majority of his minutes with the Quinn, Novak and Udoka crew last year (these guys weren't exactly the 2002 Sacramento Kings).

    And this year, (in between him, Blair, and Bonner) he's seen the least minutes with not only the starting back-court, but also Duncan.

    Wonder what those numbers would be like if Blair and Splitter switched spots in the rotation?

  7. #7
    Believe. ++SaiNt TiAg0++'s Avatar
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    ^ thats why america has problems^^

    too long? psshhhh

    that was the best article ive read here on spurstalk. great read !!!thanks again
    so do you think pop tells splitter things he can do to gain more playing time or not? i also see the inevitable splitter becoming our main guy besides duncan because of bonners horrid shooting its never been this bad the only thing is (bonner is smart) .

    im seeing him hustle more on defense and just be an outright pest which i dont mind i usually hate the guy but hey i dont hate defenders and if hes going to turn into one that means tiago's got to be that much better

  8. #8
    One of the most best jag's Avatar
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    It makes sense that the Spurs score the fewest points with Splitter on the floor. He slows the game down and usually uses the majority of the shot clock when the Spurs let him post-up his man.

    Both teams are going to score less because they are getting fewer possessions. Splitter also contributes to defensive stops on the other end. I'd like to see some analysis on how the opposing team scores with Splitter in the game. It'd also help if he wasn't usually stuck playing with scrub offensive and defensive lineups.

  9. #9
    Believe. ++SaiNt TiAg0++'s Avatar
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    great point^ what i ALWAYS notice when Tiago gets sub'd for Bonner is we without fail we begin to get beat (w/exception of a very few games) and i mean get our asses handed to us when bonner is in. you dont have to know basketball to see that. hwever it would be interesting to see how many times the the lead changes in the opposing teams favor when bon bon is put in

  10. #10
    ......................... mystargtr34's Avatar
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    Good write up and research... initial reaction to those numbers is pretty much the same as Manu4Tres.. he is more often than not playing with bench players which would naturally bring the offense down.

    Besides.. im sure the 2012 Thunder would be a better offensive team with Jeff Green at the 4 rather than one of Ibaka or Perkins. Its about balance. Spurs need to improve their defense.
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  11. #11
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    It makes sense that the Spurs score the fewest points with Splitter on the floor. He slows the game down and usually uses the majority of the shot clock when the Spurs let him post-up his man.

    Both teams are going to score less because they are getting fewer possessions. Splitter also contributes to defensive stops on the other end. I'd like to see some analysis on how the opposing team scores with Splitter in the game. It'd also help if he wasn't usually stuck playing with scrub offensive and defensive lineups.
    Agreed. Here's one place where plus minus might be interesting.

  12. #12
    Spur Forever urunobili's Avatar
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    Greg Popovich is a basketball mastermind... this one thing with Tiago could be signs of age TBH
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  13. #13
    Believe. ++SaiNt TiAg0++'s Avatar
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    tiago showing us who needs to play

  14. #14
    Believe. dunkman's Avatar
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    Great article. Pop knows what he's doing, for sure better that a casual fan. With Leonard and Green on the perimeter, and Duncan and Splitter in the paint, the Spurs could switch to being primarily defensive team.

    That being said, the best opponent of the 2007 run was an offensive team, and the Spurs won that team with superior offense. The Spurs were unable to slow the pace or make the Suns shot low FG%.

    Both things are needed to succed. Defense and offense.

    Vs the Grizzlies, when Splitter entered the game, that was in one of the last games, or the last game of the season, the Grizzlies quickly built an insurmountable playoffs lead. Prior to that the game was close.

  15. #15
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    Vs the Grizzlies, when Splitter entered the game, that was in one of the last games, or the last game of the season, the Grizzlies quickly built an insurmountable playoffs lead. Prior to that the game was close.
    Fiction is fun.

  16. #16
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    How many minutes was Manu playing together with Splitter and Duncan ? It`s obvious that Spurs would score less points with two big mens, when they need to run a play, set a post play or sth. And 67 minutes is way too less, to say , whether is better to avoid this lineup or not.

  17. #17
    Real Warrior Warlord23's Avatar
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    timvp, why did you choose points per 48 minutes for this analysis? It could be that a lineup featuring Tiago takes fewer shots per 48 minutes because they play at a slower pace (perhaps to allow Tiago to get down the court and into the opponent's paint). The other lineups probably take more FG attempts per 48 minutes.

    Aren't team FG%, team eFG%, points per possession etc more useful measures to judge whether Tiago bogs down the offense?

  18. #18
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    I agree Splitter blatantly dominates possessions, but is the difference in offense really that drastic? And does it really matter if he makes us better defensively?

    I mean, the numbers are there--we score less points with Splitter on the court...but that's only one side of the equation...if we score X amount less with him on the court, but the other team scores X+1 less with him on the court, doesn't that make him an overall asset to this team, and a necessary player for us?
    It makes sense that the Spurs score the fewest points with Splitter on the floor. He slows the game down and usually uses the majority of the shot clock when the Spurs let him post-up his man.

    Both teams are going to score less because they are getting fewer possessions. Splitter also contributes to defensive stops on the other end. I'd like to see some analysis on how the opposing team scores with Splitter in the game.
    The Spurs average 94.8 points per 48 minutes with Splitter on the court, while the opposition averages 95.0 points per 48 minutes ... meaning the Spurs have been outscored this year when Splitter is on the court.

    Points Allowed Per 48 Minutes on the Court
    Matt Bonner - 90.5
    Richard Jefferson - 90.7
    Tim Duncan - 91.5
    Tony Parker - 92.9
    TJ Ford - 94.7
    Tiago Splitter - 95.0
    Danny Green - 95.5
    James Anderson - 95.9
    Manu Ginobili - 96.3
    Kawhi Leonard - 97.2
    DeJuan Blair - 98.9
    Gary Neal - 99.5

    If you want to normalize the pace, as _JaG suggested, the Spurs average 105.4 points per 100 possessions when Splitter is on the court, while the opposition averages 106.7 points per 100 possessions when Splitter is off the court. When Splitter is on the bench, the Spurs average 112.2 points per 100 possessions, and the opposition averages 105.4 points per 100 possessions. So even normalizing pace, the Spurs are better on offense and defense with Splitter off the court.

    The best arguments against these numbers are: 1. small sample size (although with last year's stats showing similar findings, this may be a hard argument to sell) 2. Splitter needs more playing time to figure out how he can positively impact the game.

    Personally, even if I accept that the numbers aren't a fluke, that doesn't make me think less of Splitter. It just makes me think Splitter is even more in need of playing time so he can learn the NBA game. IMO, the worst thing Pop could do is to wait until the playoffs to throw Splitter into the fire ... like he did last year.

  19. #19
    uups stups! Cant_Be_Faded's Avatar
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    Both teams are going to score less because they are getting fewer possessions. Splitter also contributes to defensive stops on the other end. I'd like to see some analysis on how the opposing team scores with Splitter in the game. It'd also help if he wasn't usually stuck playing with scrub offensive and defensive lineups.

    Mothafucka, ain't that what I just said???
    /shamrock

  20. #20
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    The notion that the Spurs score less with Splitter and Duncan on the floor together isn't an accurate assessment given the really small sample size of 67 minutes.
    If Pop is looking at that sample size to decide whether or not to play those two together, that would be really stupid. Agreed.

    I'd like to see Pop utilize both Splitter and Duncan together waaaaay more often, that way the Spurs can gauge a real accurate assessment of how productive the team could be with those two on the floor together (67 minutes is laughable). The reality is, we still don't know and this thing is going on two years already.


    Duncan and Splitter should have been the opening day starters if for nothing else to see if they can play together.

  21. #21
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    The best arguments against these numbers are: 1. small sample size (although with last year's stats showing similar findings, this may be a hard argument to sell) 2. Splitter needs more playing time to figure out how he can positively impact the game.
    3. Matt Bonner doesn't hit meaningful baskets. He usually hits threes in bunches, and usually does so in either blowout wins or blowout losses. Scoring is really nice and all, but when it happens makes a difference. Start Splitter and Duncan together, see the results and then come talk to me about stats.

  22. #22
    I'm poplovin' it! TJastal's Avatar
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    If Pop is looking at that sample size to decide whether or not to play those two together, that would be really stupid. Agreed.





    Duncan and Splitter should have been the opening day starters if for nothing else to see if they can play together.
    This should have happened opening game last season. The absolutely maddening thing is Pop seems to have no sense of urgency in bringing Splitter along, even though the big 3 are nearing the end of the line.

    And yet here is Pop acting like Morgan Freeman driving Ms Daisy, Splitter will be lucky if he's starting by the year 2015 at this pace.

  23. #23
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    so do you think pop tells splitter things he can do to gain more playing time or not?
    Hope so. Or else I'm not sure how he'd be earning his coaching salary.

    How many minutes was Manu playing together with Splitter and Duncan ?
    About nine and a half minutes.

    timvp, why did you choose points per 48 minutes for this analysis? It could be that a lineup featuring Tiago takes fewer shots per 48 minutes because they play at a slower pace (perhaps to allow Tiago to get down the court and into the opponent's paint). The other lineups probably take more FG attempts per 48 minutes.
    I looked at both numbers and they were basically the same. If anything, the points per possession numbers make Splitter look worse.

    Aren't team FG%, team eFG%, points per possession etc more useful measures to judge whether Tiago bogs down the offense?
    Covered PPP and don't have FG% but team eFG% with Splitter on the court is 49.9%. With Splitter on the bench, it's 53.3%.

  24. #24
    Spurs Sage Russ's Avatar
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    Splitter will be lucky if he's starting by the year 2015 at this pace.
    The Spurs will be lucky if Splitter's on their roster in 2015 at this pace. (He will have other options, you know. )
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  25. #25
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    This should have happened opening game last season. The absolutely maddening thing is Pop seems to have no sense of urgency in bringing Splitter along, even though the big 3 are nearing the end of the line.

    And yet here is Pop acting like Morgan Freeman driving Ms Daisy, Splitter will be lucky if he's starting by the year 2015 at this pace.
    I feel so stupid for assuming Splitter and Duncan would start together when they signed him, and for the slow realization that Pop never intended any such thing.

  26. #26
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    Great writeup, LJ. Much appreciated!

    I'm getting more convinced after every game that Tiago is the best big defender we have. I agree Nellieball goes nowhere quick.
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  27. #27
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    I also have kind of a problem with calling what the Spurs do "Nellie Ball". Don Nelson always made sure that he had undersized guys who could play defense.

  28. #28
    uups stups! Cant_Be_Faded's Avatar
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    I feel so stupid for assuming Splitter and Duncan would start together when they signed him, and for the slow realization that Pop never intended any such thing.


    Yeah so do i. Duncan's newfound focus on the highpost and his great passing abilities make this all the more bewildering.

  29. #29
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    Forgot to add, I will always take a team that make stops when they need them vs a team that relies on the 3 ball to win games. And I think this season with Leonard, Splitter, Green and whatever Tim has left, we can be a team that wins with defense.

    I just hope that at some point Pop gives them a chance to prove it.

  30. #30
    That was not difficult. Obstructed_View's Avatar
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    Yeah so do i. Duncan's newfound focus on the highpost and his great passing abilities make this all the more bewildering.
    Yeah, it's Splitter stepping into Duncan's role, and Duncan stepping into Dice's role, which seems perfect. Throw in Leonard, Parker and Manu and that's a pretty decent mix of talent, size, defense and experience.

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