Tiago Splitter Frustrated With Lack of Playing Time

by December 07, 2010

He was a big star internationally; something that has yet to translate into success (or playing time) in the NBA. Gregg Popovich understands the big fella’s frustration, but there’s not much he can do to appease him at the moment. From the Express-News: “Spurs center Tiago Splitter has been a star in his home country of Brazil and a Most Valuable Player in his one-time adopted country of Spain. In San Antonio, he remains an international man of mystery. More than a month into his rookie NBA season, Splitter is so far having trouble cracking coach Gregg Popovich’s crowded frontcourt rotation. ‘It’s just a different role for me,’ Splitter said. “I’m not used to it.’ A strained calf muscle suffered the second day of training camp in September caused Splitter to miss the entire preseason and the first two games of the regular season. It also cost him valuable teaching time … Though Popovich has been pleased with Splitter’s grasp of the Spurs’ system in a macro sense, the coach does not yet trust him with its finer details. ‘There are so many different things I might do during a game, and he’s not going to know exactly what he should be doing,’ Popovich said. ‘That makes it tough for him and for us.’ Popovich acknowledges Splitter is ‘in a position that’s got to be really frustrating. He’s used to playing a lot of minutes and being a big part of what’s going on,’ Popovich said. ‘That’s not happening for him right now, and I’m not in a position to give him 30 minutes to get him going. That’s not fair to him or to the whole group.'”