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.