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NBA All-Star Weekend: Nikola Pekovic Should Replace Injured Tiago Splitter

The San Antonio Spurs announced on Monday that second-year center Tiago Splitter is expected to miss the next two weeks due to injury. This typically wouldn't register on the radars of the Minnesota faithful, but Splitter was supposed to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge, formerly known as the Rookie-Sophomore Game.

Splitter will need to be replaced and, if the NBA is looking for another second-year big man, they need not look any further than Minnesota Timberwolves' rising star Nikola Pekovic.

"It's a shame they didn't look at him," Wolves coach Rick Adelman told the Pioneer Press regarding Pekovic being snubbed. "I can understand Lin, but look around the league and see who's been doing things. Pek is a huge part of what we're doing now. As long as he keeps playing like he's playing, he'll get his due."

The 26-year-old Montenegran has only been in the starting lineup for half of the team's games this season, but those 12 games have been a thing of beauty. The 6-foot-11 center is averaging a near double-double 16.3 points and 9.9 rebounds while making better than 60 percent of his field goal attempts.

Pekovic should have been involved in the game when the candidates were originally announced, but luckily for the NBA, it now has a chance to right their wrong due to Splitter's injury. Now he shall go ... and he shall be Pek-tacular.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation's NBA page.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.