This will give them even more reason to keep their starting center.
Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Tiago Splitter is a nice backup center, and Atlanta’s ratings on both ends improved with him going from off the court to on:
- Offensive: 103.0 to 103.5
- Defensive: 101.4 94.2
- Net: +1.7 to +9.3
The Hawks were obviously selective with when they deployed Splitter, a far more traditional center than Horford. But losing Splitter removes the versatility to use bigger lineups.
Splitter, 31, had shown signs of aging – a drop in rebounding, drawing fewer fouls and committing more. This hip surgery could indicate a decline in athleticism that limits him going forward. But he was still helping a team capable of winning a couple playoff series now.
Losing Splitter, who’ll making $8.55 million next season in the final year of his contract, probably isn’t enough to drastically change Atlanta’s plans. But this setback also makes winning in the postseason a little more difficult.