The quest to find the San Antonio Spurs a starting center has been ongoing really since David Robinson retired.
First it was Rasho Nesterovic then Nazr Mohammed (with a dash of Robert Horry thrown in there) then it was Francisco Elson, then it was Fabricio Oberto then it was Kurt Thomas then it was Drew Gooden (was there some Anthony Tolliver thrown in there?) then it was Antonio McDyess, then it was DeJuan Blair, then it was Antonio McDyess again. Did I miss anyone?
Now the Spurs face another dilemma at the center spot. It looks like Antonio McDyess is retiring, probably. If so, that leaves last year's other starter, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter - last year's big signing -and Matt Bonner, who doesn't count.
The Spurs were a better team statistically last season when DeJuan Blair started then when he came off the bench. Does that mean they would've beaten Memphis had "Grizzly" Blair been starting? Probably not. But it does mean he had found his niche with the other starters. You could also argue a young guy like Blair plays best when he's motivated and he's best motivated when he's in the starting lineup. The argument against Blair is he's 6'7" and a terrible match up for the Spurs on defense. This becomes amazingly clear when he plays the Los Angeles Lakers since they have two 7-footers and another really tall reality TV star. Also, while DeJuan actually took some jumpers last season, I always cringed when I saw his set up for a jumper. Hopefully now that he announced on Twitter that he's back to working out, working on a jump shot is something he's working on.
The argument for Tiago Splitter starting is far more conceptual because we just didn't see him all that much last season. Here's what we know.