Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tiago Splittter traded for Michael Carter-Williams.

After losing a close fight with the Warriors, the Spurs' road to the playoffs got too bumpy for the front office's liking. Although they battled valiantly, the Spurs lost to both the Cavaliers in the rematch (after San Antonio closely won the first contest), in Phoenix to the Suns and at home to the Orlando Magic. The Spurs would 'get revenge' on the young Frank Vogel-led Magic squad back in Orlando before the All-Star Break, but the recent struggle was still enough to tweak the chemistry just a tad.

Tiago Splitter was once traded when the Spurs acquired Kevin Garnett, and brought him back the next season. Splitter struggled after the return to the Alamo City, but Spurs kept him and won the championship, brushing the matter aside. This season, Splitter has not been 'bad' by any means, but with new Spur, Dewayne Dedmon, scrappy and producing alongside Pau Gasol down low, Tiago's role diminished and he saw less and less playing time.

In some of San Antonio's losses this season, both Danny Green and Manu Ginobili struggled, with Ginobili showing signs of fatigue, even as the backup SG this season. The Spurs were looking at possibly Ricky Rubio who keeps being subject to trade rumors in Minnesota, but "MCW" offers the same value as Rubio, with both players not having the best offensive talents but being great distributors and MCW having the edge defensively. Many Bulls fans questioned the trade for MCW, considering the presence and similar low offense/high distribution talents of new Bulls maestro, Rajon Rondo. A first round draft pick also went to the Chicago Bulls.

Meanwhile, the Western All-Star team won the popular, high-scoring affair this time, despite a comeback effort by LeBron James and John Wall of the east. They had a chance to tie the game, but a turnover decided the contest in the closing seconds.

With the acquisition of MCW to the Spurs, Coach Popovich now has the rest of the season to experiment with the new player and with new lineups, with hopefully MCW being the difference to relieve pressure from Ginobili & co and catapult the Spurs past their strongest foes: Cavaliers and Warriors.