Atlanta Hawks Player Preview: Tiago Splitter


Tiago Splitter

Age: 30

Height: 6’11

Entering his 6th NBA season

Home Country: Brazil

Tiago Splitter #11 2014-2015 Statistics

  • 8.2 points per game
  • 4.8 rebound per game
  • 1.5 assists per game
  • 0.7 blocks per game
  • 55.8 percent field-goal percentage
  • 75 percent free-throw percentage
  • 19.8 minutes per game

2014-2015 Season Recap

Last season was an injury riddled one for Tiago Splitter. One year after playing in only 59 games, Splitter set a career low by taking part in 52 games. He only started in 35 of those games, playing 19.8 minutes per game. Splitter just couldn’t stay on the court. His back was troublesome, he has always had a balky shoulder and even his calf started barking last season. When he was actually on the floor, he was typical Tiago Splitter.

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Splitter set good screens, moved the ball thanks to his underrated passing ability, finished at the rim when he got his opportunities and protected the rim. Despite playing through those injuries most of the season, Splitter still only allowed 50 percent shooting at the rim. With Splitter on the court last season, the Spurs allowed 100.4 points per 100 possession, without him they allowed 102.9. When healthy, he is the perfect center to anchor a defense.

The Spurs looked poised to make a run at back-to-back championships until they drew a nightmare first round match-up against the Los Angeles Clippers. Splitter played all 7 postseason games, but he struggled. In 17.6 minutes per game Splitter averaged 3.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on 37.5 percent shooting. His defense was not abysmal, but it was clear that his injured calf was still bothering him. In the end, the Spurs were eliminated on a Chris Paul game-winning shot that barely grazed Tim Duncan’s fingers. Little did anyone know that would be the last game Splitter would play as a Spur.

2015-2016 Season Preview

Entering into the 2015 offseason one thing was clear; LaMarcus Aldridge was the top free agent on the market. There were tales of him taking meetings with various teams, being wined and dined, and teams desperately attempting to clear cap space so they had enough money to sign him. The San Antonio Spurs were smack dab in the middle of the proceedings. Many thought they were the favorites to secure his services, they just needed to find the money. The Atlanta Hawks were the beneficiaries of that need.

In July, the Hawks acquired Tiago Splitter from the Spurs for a future second round draft pick (top 55 protected) and the rights to  Georgios Printezis. I’ve said before, that’s like paying 50 cents on the dollar for Splitter, but I’ve changed my mind. It’s like paying 20 cents on the dollar. It’s a downright steal for Atlanta.

Nabbing a talented center like Splitter for a bargain, basement price doesn’t happen everyday. The Hawks are extremely fortunate to welcome him to their organization this season. He brings a great deal of experience and versatility to the table.

Splitter gives the Hawks a traditional center that some think they have lacked in the past. Al Horford is one of the best centers in the NBA, but his body type and skillset are more in line with those of power forwards.

With Splitter in the fold, the Hawks can get more creative with their lineups. He can pair with Horford when they want to go big, even playing Paul Millsap at small forward for short stretches. He can play alongside Millsap giving them a nice high/low combination. He can even pair with stretch-fours like Mike Muscala or Mike Scott in the second unit.

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  • Rebounding was an issue at times for the Hawks last season, they ranked 30th in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage at 21.4 percent and 22nd in the league in defensive rebounding percentage at 73.4 percent. Adding Splitter to the equation should improve those areas.

    His passing and screening ability fits perfectly into Mike Budenholzer’s offense and good defense fits in any system. He comes from the Spurs which has a similar system and a similar culture built on sharing the ball and winning basketball games. It’s a perfect fit on both fronts.

    Of course, all of this is contingent on Splitter finding a way to stay healthy. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case in either of the last two seasons. Regardless, considering what they gave up to get him, anything Splitter provides this season is gravy.

    Next: Top Dunkers in Hawks History

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