Tiago looking for continued growth in second season

It would be understandable if Tiago Splitter had some lingering bad memories remaining his rookie season.

Splitter played in 60 games, including 27 where he logged less than 10 minutes. He was benched during an eight-game stretch in February which set back his development.

Those early struggles led Splitter to rededicate himself over the summer. He first trained in San Antonio before accepting a contract with the Spanish club Valencia Basket before the lockout was settled.

That extensive work has Splitter confident approaching his second season.

It was good. I was working here almost all summer, with TD (Tim Duncan) and the guys,” Splitter said. “I had the opportunity to play a few games over there. It was good for me to get in shape.”

Playing with the Spanish team enabled Splitter to jump-start his conditioning to prepare for a potentially larger role inside — particularly if Antonio McDyess sticks with his retirement plans.

“Over there, it was games, real games,” Splitter said.  “Over here, it was working out and running. The game stuff was better than just working out.”

Splitter failed to see action in the first three games of the playoffs before producing 10 points and nine rebounds in San Antonio’s Game 4 loss to Memphis. He appeared in the remaining games of the series, averaging 6.7 points and 4.7 rebounds.

“I want to grow my game,” Splitter said. “I know how to play, I just want to help the team win. Improve on offense, improve on defense, screens, whatever, rebounding to win games.” 

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