Tiago Splitter’s Absence Will Hurt San Antonio Spurs’ Play Near the Rim

By Juan Pablo Aravena
Tiago Splitter Spurs Free Agent
Derick E. Hingle – USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs fans received some bad news as one of their most consistent starters will have to be sidelined for an extended period of time.

Per several reports, Brazilian forward Tiago Splitter has been officially ruled out for the next three to five weeks after the results of an MRI confirmed the big man has a right shoulder sprain. Splitter had become a great partner for Tim Duncan inside the paint and now the Spurs will most likely have to shift their rotation while Tiago is out.

In terms of hustle and the rebounding, most of the responsibility will now be on the shoulders of Duncan. The veteran has managed to be quite consistent this year and with Splitter sidelined, Timmy-D will have to be forced to turn back the clock once again and go back to the days where he was one of the best rebounders in the NBA.

Luckily for San Antonio, their scoring won’t be affected much. While Splitter does average almost nine points per game this season, he is not known for being a reliable scorer. Boris Diaw has more chances to start in his place and his presence would allow the Spurs to stretch the floor and give Duncan more space to operate inside the paint. Diaw is an average rebounder for the PF position and it’s clear the Spurs will end up missing Splitter in the long run.

The Brazilian forward is expected to return some time in February and Gregg Popovich will have to tweak the rotation to cope with his loss. The inside game will be depleted while Tiago is out, but San Antonio has enough depth and weapons to survive while he is sidelined.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google

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