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In case you missed it, Linas Kleiza is playing well in London

Aug 6, 2012, 1:59 AM EST

US centre Tyson Chandler (C) vies with L Getty Images

Team USA noticed.

Toronto Raptor Linas Kleiza put up 25 points on them in a game that was a lot closer than expected. Kleiza is a known commodity who has turned heads in London.

The USA is not the only team that Kleiza has cause problems for — he has averaged 18.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in the Olympics. He is shooting 60.5 inside the arc (but he is struggling, just 3-of-12 from three). He has more total rebounds and more free throws than anyone else from Lithuania.

He has not played like that the last couple seasons in Toronto — he averaged 9.7 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting last NBA season.

But he has battled knee issues the past couple years, things he seems to be past now. If he really is, if he can move this well and bring some confidence from the games to the NBA he could be a boost in Toronto.

That said, they are deep at his wing spot, with DeMar DeRozan and even Landry Fields now fighting for minutes with Kleiza. But the minutes are there for the Lithuanian to grab.

They could use it.

Because Toronto has another Lithuanian coming in Jonas Valanciunas, the No. 5 pick in last draft. He comes in with high hopes but he has looked more like a project through these games, not instant help.

A healthy Kleiza may be that.

  1. fm31970 - Aug 6, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Always liked Kleiza’s game, especially when coached by George Karl. Fun to watch those two work together.

  2. borderline1988 - Aug 6, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    His game always looked better in international ball than in the NBA. This same thing happened in the World Championships in 2010.

  3. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Aug 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    He’ll kook like that with the Raptors, it’s just that we only get it from him about once every 15 games. I think he simply fits the international style much better.

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