Finally a fixture in coach Gregg Popovich’s rotation in his second NBA season, Splitter is learning something that he long suspected about the American game: Playing it is more beneficial than watching it.
“You learn more when you play,” said Splitter, the 27-year-old Brazilian who appeared in just 60 games as a rookie. “You learn from what you see every day and get a feel for the game.”
A trip around the league has made Splitter more comfortable and confident on the court, particularly in the low block. He is learning how certain defenders — such as Houston’s Luis Scola and Jordan Hill on Saturday — want to attack him, and, as importantly, how to counterattack.
With Tim Duncan out of the lineup for a 105-102 loss to the Rockets, Splitter exploded for a career-high 25 points off the bench, going 11 of 13 from the floor.
— Reported by Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News