For Spurs center Tiago Splitter, shooting free throws was once an adventure.

As a rookie last season, he made just 54.3 percent of them, converting at just better than the rate of "heads" in a coin flip.

"I didn't have a great mechanic," Splitter said. "We tried to change it, and it wasn't easy. You're changing the way you shot your whole life."

After a season working with shooting coach Chip Engelland, and a lockout-prolonged offseason spent honing his touch on his own, Splitter appears to be developing into a rarity among Spurs big men — a competent foul shooter.

Splitter is hitting 69 percent of his freebies heading into tonight's game against Phoenix, having converted 20 of 29. Those numbers will never confuse him for Mark Price, but they do make him a more valuable weapon in the post.