The San Antonio Spurs have a number of problems heading in to the playoffs. Most of them revolve around the fact that their two best guards can't make lay ups at the moment because of various injuries. However, the injuries and recoveries of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have created trickle down problems for the rest of the Spurs' roster.
Chief among those problems is the play of Tiago Splitter. Overall, Splitter's play this year has been great, but the last six weeks or so, Splitter's offensive production has taken a dip. That dip has coincided with injuries to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. In the last 20 games, all of those since Parker went down with an ankle sprain, Splitter is shooting 48.4 percent from the field, which is down from his season average of 56 percent.
I think Splitter's poor shooting over the last six weeks is directly related to the absence of Parker, Ginobili or both. As many of us know, Splitter is a terrific pick-and-roll player and makes a living of diving to the basket when rolling off screens.
According to NBA.com's stats site, about 43 percent of Splitter's field goals that were assisted on have come from either Parker or Ginobili on the season. So it stands to reason that he would struggle when the two guys he has the most rhythm with are either not in the line up or working their way back from injury.
The good news about Splitter's numbers is he's still being aggressive looking for his own shot. In fact, he's probably been looking for it more than normal, but just isn't that good at creating his own offense for an extended amount of time. That is good news because at times in his first two seasons, a poor performance or a string of poor performances has affected Splitter's confidence. No sign of that so far.
It's possible he's also tired. He's the only Spurs to play every game so far and he's logging a career high in minutes. Perhaps holding him out of the final game against Minnesota, which would give him five days of rest, would be good before the playoffs start.