By Trevor Zickgraf, Project Spurs.com
Could #Spurs Tiago Splitter become this season's George Hill? http://t.co/RV4YTPUP
The San Antonio Spurs have a slight problem. It's a problem that didn't completely rear its head until the Western Conference Finals, but once we saw it we couldn't get rid of it. When Tim Duncan wasn't in the basketball game, the San Antonio Spurs couldn't protect the paint and their overall defense went to Hell in a hand basket. Don't believe me? Check out the Thunder's offensive rating
when Duncan is on the court and when Duncan is off the court. We've heard the Spurs want Boris Diaw back and that they want Erazem Lorbek to come over from Europe
. That's a fantastic way to keep the offense flowing, but it's not going to improve their interior defense.
The Spurs faced a similar problem last season, just in a different position. They were undersized at shooting guard and small forward and were able to turn George Hill in to Kawhi Leonard, a cornerstone for the Spurs' future. The same thing might need to happen this season. George Hill was a great Spurs and a good fit for the franchise, but trading him was the only way to improve and keep the core of the team together. This year's draft has some guys in this year's NBA Draft that could help the Spurs some defensive issues, but it might mean they have to part with Tiago Splitter in the process.
Make no mistake, I write being a big Tiago Splitter fan. His work as the role man in pick and roll situations is some of the best in the league and he's almost too willing of a passer (people who aren't fans of Splitter will see he's weak around the basket). He's a decent defender and the only other guy on the team besides Duncan we can consider a true center. When Duncan sat out games due to rest Splitter almost always did a fantastic job filling in. He is the San Antonio Spurs second best big man.
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