Tiago Splitter’s debut season ended early for the Atlanta Hawks due to a nagging hip injury that eventually required season-ending surgery. Splitter’s recovery has gone well and Mike Budenholzer recently told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he expects him to be a near 100 percent participant when camp opens.
“With the hip, if you are just talking specifically about the hip, everybody feels like it couldn’t be going much better. Now, it’s getting all the muscles and everything that goes into being ready to play up to speed. We are expecting him to participate in camp, maybe not at 100 percent participation but significant. I think more of the scrimmaging and real basketball stuff to see how he is doing and be conscientious that whenever we use him it’s in real live basketball environment.”
Splitter’s health prevented him from ever being much of a factor for the Hawks last season. He appeared in 36 games while averaging 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in just over 16 minutes of action.
However, even in a limited sample size, Splitter was an effective defender. He put up a defensive rating of 94.2 and a net rating of 9.3 which would have led the team.
If healthy, Splitter can play a big role for the team this season. The Hawks will likely try to manage the minutes of Howard over the long haul and having Splitter as a capable backup would be a solid boost. Of course health is the biggest concern. Splitter hasn’t played more than 59 games in any of the last three seasons. However, he appears to be in good position heading into camp.