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  • Linas Kleiza's Greek vacation has made him a new man

    Linas Kleiza's Greek vacation has made him a new man

    Fri Sep 10,2010 12:22 PM ET By Kurt Helin



    He is scoring 19.1 points a game on 60.4 percent shooting, is getting to the line, has shown everyone what he is capable of on the World Stage and is the unquestioned leader of a team in the FIBA World Championships.

    Kevin Durant? No, although their statistics are nearly identical.

    It's Linas Kleiza. The former Nugget and soon to be Raptor who is leading Lithuania up against the Americans on Saturday.

    Kleiza was a nice backup guy for the Nuggets, but some who watched him then and now have a question: Who is this guy with the well rounded game and is putting up Durant-like numbers in Turkey?

    Player development guru David Thorpe knows, and he isn't surprised. Thorpe is the executive director of the Pro Training Center (as well as ESPN analyst) who worked with Kleiza a few years back and said he always had this in him.

    "In reality what we're seeing now is just the natural evolution of a guy asked to play the three but was only a guy allowed to shoot threes and dunk in [the Denver] system," Thorpe said. "He was a much more fluid player than he was allowed to show."
    Denver had Carmelo Anthony and for much of Kleiza's time Allen Iverson -- they had dynamic scorers, better scorers than Kleiza. The result of that is what happened to him happens to a lot of players Thorpe said -- they get put in roles that work for the team but do not show off or exploit all a player can do. There are plenty of players collecting NBA paycheck and living the NBA lifestyle in the same boat.
    "I've always thought he was a starting level three," Thorpe said. "He's very explosive, very rugged and though a guy who can race the floor... He's your classic mismatch nightmare because he'll just pulverize smaller players with his strength but he can also hit the three."
    Most teams that take on Toronto will face the same matchup challenges that the world has faced in recent weeks, Thorpe said. He added he thinks Kleiza could be the Raptors leading scorer next season or should at least be in the mix.

    "He's a very good three point shooter who can finish around the rim, has great hands and can take the punishment..." Thorpe said. "Not a lot of guys who can do all that."
    "they get put in roles that work for the team but do not show off or exploit all a player can do."

    Think Amir Johnson?

    We will know soon enough

    Much more on link below

    A Vacation of Eating Olives and Pistachios
    Last edited by Buddahfan; Sat Sep 11, 2010, 10:03 AM.
    Avatar: Riverboat Coffee House 134 Yorkville Ave. billboard of upcoming entertainers - Circa 1960s

    Memories some so sweet, indeed

    Larger Photo of the avatar



    Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

  • #2
    LOL. Lovin your new avatar Buddah HAHA.

    Yeah, I think Kleiza can only do us good, plus he's "okay" with not being the main man, and getting all the touches. He's a great team player, and depending on how this year goes, he could even be our leader next year!

    Comment


    • #3
      JoePanini wrote: View Post
      LOL. Lovin your new avatar Buddah HAHA.
      She is one gorgeous female, 4sure

      Kleiza having a lot of problems with AI on the post up. He had the same problems in the first game between team USA and Lithuania.

      He definitely has to clean this up. Raptors coaches, English probably, will have to work with him to enable him to better protect the ball on post ups.
      Avatar: Riverboat Coffee House 134 Yorkville Ave. billboard of upcoming entertainers - Circa 1960s

      Memories some so sweet, indeed

      Larger Photo of the avatar



      Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think that him pretty much being the leader in Greece as opposed to a bench player in Denver will give him more confidence to step up his game. Olympiakos are a premier team and could probably hang in against a lot of NBA teams. It isn't like he was facing a bunch of highschoolers. I think this was a good expirience for him
        and a way to improve in the NBA.

        Comment


        • #5
          In the mix for leading scorer? Even if the talent is present on that level is he going to get enough looks?

          Comment


          • #6
            Apollo wrote: View Post
            In the mix for leading scorer? Even if the talent is present on that level is he going to get enough looks?
            I look for Kleiza to be either 4th or 5th in 10-11 in ppg.

            I expect that all of the Raptors starters will average double figures per game in scoring.
            Avatar: Riverboat Coffee House 134 Yorkville Ave. billboard of upcoming entertainers - Circa 1960s

            Memories some so sweet, indeed

            Larger Photo of the avatar



            Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

            Comment


            • #7
              Buddahfan wrote: View Post
              She is one gorgeous female, 4sure

              Kleiza having a lot of problems with AI on the post up. He had the same problems in the first game between team USA and Lithuania.

              He definitely has to clean this up. Raptors coaches, English probably, will have to work with him to enable him to better protect the ball on post ups.
              Yeah, but what do you expect from a relatively un-athletic forward that weighs nearly 250 lbs, defending and posting on a incredibly fast, athletic and strong AI? But I hope he gets quicker. Needs to work on his feet!

              Comment


              • #8
                JoePanini wrote: View Post
                Yeah, but what do you expect from a relatively un-athletic forward that weighs nearly 250 lbs, defending and posting on a incredibly fast, athletic and strong AI? But I hope he gets quicker. Needs to work on his feet!
                Kleiza is what he is.

                A nice player who will help the Raptors more than he will hurt them.

                I think coach English will help him smooth out and improve some of the rough spots in his offensive game.

                As long as Bargnani and Jack don't chuck up more 25 plus shots a game between them, they took 22.5 shots a game between them in 09-10, the Raptors team offense should be fine.
                Avatar: Riverboat Coffee House 134 Yorkville Ave. billboard of upcoming entertainers - Circa 1960s

                Memories some so sweet, indeed

                Larger Photo of the avatar



                Quote from well known personality who led their high school team to a state championship.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Buddahfan wrote: View Post
                  Kleiza is what he is.

                  A nice player who will help the Raptors more than he will hurt them.

                  I think coach English will help him smooth out and improve some of the rough spots in his offensive game.

                  As long as Bargnani and Jack don't chuck up more 25 plus shots a game between them, they took 22.5 shots a game between them in 09-10, the Raptors team offense should be fine.
                  Most definitely! I think he's the most mature player on our roster. Plus he has great technique, we just need to see if he can play in our schemes, which I hope. Plus he doesn't demand the ball, so I think his shooting percentage and efficiency should be pretty good. If he develops an above average/good post game, we have serious fire power next year!
                  Yeah, I see Bargs shooting around 16 times next year, maybe even more (I'm not sure what to hope for, if he hits them then HELL YEAH! But most likely he won't so him shooting more than 16 is just gonna hurt us...)

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                  • #10
                    I dont think klieza will be the leading scorer but if he does better then turk I will be happy. it will be a big question who to start at the 3 kleiza or wright. so many question marks over our starting line up the only sure starter is bargs and maybe derozan
                    ya dun noe

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                    • #11
                      Hassan wrote: View Post
                      I dont think klieza will be the leading scorer but if he does better then turk I will be happy. it will be a big question who to start at the 3 kleiza or wright. so many question marks over our starting line up the only sure starter is bargs and maybe derozan
                      Statistically, I don't think Kleiza will be superior to Turk. But his impact on the team will be far greater and important

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