When it comes to the San Antonio Spurs, it's typical fashion that Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker get the majority of the press as a constant "Big Three" in Gregg Popovich's system.
You know the drill: the Spurs always win the day when it comes to building around those three guys, and now that is the case with Tiago Splitter.
Yet the best part for Splitter is showing he can provide more to a team than simply being a wing man to three veteran winners.
When it comes to playing on the national stage for Brazil, the 6-foot-11Splitter has shown he can hold his own and step up. Just ask Great Britain.
Although GB battled Brazil hard on Tuesday, Brazil held on in the end, 67-62, thanks to some key shots by San Antonio's power forward/center. Splitter poured in 21 points and 6 rebounds to lead Brazil, who know is on the leve with Spain and Russia in Group B play.
In two season with the Spurs, Splitter went from playing 12 minutes to 19 minutes per game, and watched his numbers jump to 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, to 9.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. And with an impressive showing at the 2012 London Olympics, those numbers will only improve as the former 2010 MVP in Spain's ACB league is still growing his game at 27-years old.
Probably the best part of this story: Splitter stepped up and hit two big free-throws against GB.
In the past, teams around the NBA have targeted his as a weakness in Splitter's game (see Scott Brooks and OKC sending him to the line in the Western Conference Finals), but the Olympics have a way of building careers for guys on the court.
Splitter has already done that overseas and is now coming into his own with the Spurs.
Shining in London will only help Tiago Splitter's confidence heading back to San Antonio this coming NBA season.
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