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Tiago Splitter was very solid during the Western Conference Finals, helping exploit the weakened Oklahoma City Thunder bigs.
The Brazilian center started the Finals with 14 points in Game 1, but he was neutralized during the second meeting. Outmatched when guarding Chris Bosh or Rashard Lewis—or even being switched onto LeBron—Splitter was rarely in a favorable position.
Pop’s response was to use Splitter exclusively as Duncan's backup in Game 3, and it definitely worked. He checked in three times, each one being for Duncan, and was then replaced by the Big Fundamental en route to a plus-11 rating.
Currently, the rotation is Tony Parker/Mills, Danny Green/Ginobili, Leonard at small forward, Diaw/Matt Bonner and Tim Duncan/Splitter. Most importantly, this leaves a decent balance of offense and defense at all times, though that is largely contingent on Diaw's production when Splitter is on the floor.
San Antonio must be careful not playing to the Heat's strength of small lineups, but as long as Diaw is performing, the Splitter-for-Duncan substitution is the best option.