After undergoing an MRI on Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs announced center Tiago Splitter is expected to miss 3 to 5 weeks with a right shoulder sprain. Splitter injured his right shoulder in the fourth quarter of the teams 116-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers as he collided with Ryan Hollins as Splitter went up for a shot.
Splitter was key against the Clippers' front court as he had scored 22 points and grabbed 5 rebounds before going down with the injury. The Spurs will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. With Splitter out, the team still has Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, Aron Baynes, Jeff Ayres, Matt Bonner, and Malcolm Thomas to fill in for Splitter.
Manu Ginobili said without Splitter, it will give Ayres and Baynes a chance for an opportunity with more minutes following the Spurs' win on Saturday:
“Tiago is a big part of what we do. He is our five. (He is) the one that rolls every time. He is very reliable. He is always in the right spot defensively. We don’t know how many games he is going to miss but for sure we are going to miss him. At the same time it is a great opportunity for Jeff (Ayres) or (Aron) Baynes. Whoever gets to play the most, they can have the opportunity to get confident and play more minutes. Hopefully it is not much but it is what it is.”
With Splitter off the court, their offense seems to be more productive as they average 111.7 points per 100 possessions when Splitter is off the floor as opposed the 100.7 with him on the court. The defense however will likely take a hit as the Spurs' defensive rating goes from 93.3 with Splitter to 102.7 with Splitter off the court.
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ABAYNES @ THE STARTING THAN AYERS...!!! AND I THINK DGREEN IS BETTER IN THE STARTING 5 THAN MARCO B......!!! MarcO B. IS BETTER WITH MANU.....
@JoeVillarreal Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express News recently spoke with him after a Toros game. From what Young reported, he's still waiting to get back in NBA shape and hoping a team calls him. Unless the Spurs release Malcolm Thomas, they currently do not have a roster spot for Howard.
@ruju85 Don't want to spoil your hopes, but I'd be surprised if he gets the initial start and more minutes. Right now, all numbers point to the offense and defense being way better with Jeff Ayres (+11.4 Net Rating) in the lineup as opposed to Baynes (+1.0 Net Rating). Also, Pop's gone with Ayres more (4 times) this year as a starter, opposed to Baynes (1). However, I think Baynes might get more spot minutes with the second unit of Patty-Manu-Green-Diaw. Or vise-versa. Again, this is just my take after being around the group, but who knows, Pop will be the one to make the decision.