Archive for the ‘Linas Kleiza’ Category

We’re going to handle preseason player profiles differently this year on RaptorBlog. For each player on the 2012-13 Raptors’ active roster, Joseph Casciaro and I are going to email our thoughts back and forth and then post the resulting conversation on the blog. It’s an edgy new form of journalism! Or something…

Linas Kleiza, SF/PF, 6’8″, 234 lbs.
2011-12 stats: 49 games, 21.6 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.1 BPG, 0.5 SPG, .402 FG%, .346 3P%, .810 FT%, 12.4 PER

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Over the last month or so, ESPN has slowly unveiled their ranking of the Top 500 NBA players (from Eddy Curry to LeBron James) according to a panel of 104 “experts.” For the most part, I’d say they’ve got it right, but the method they used to get there – arbitrarily rating each player from 0-10 – is a little ridiculous.

Nonetheless, regardless of whether the rankings actually tell us anything about the “current quality of each player,” as panelists were asked to judge the players on, given that so many high profile NBA media people and insiders were involved in the ranking, the list does, at the very least, give us a good indication of how each player is perceived heading into the 2012-13 season.

For the purpose of this blog, I’ve compiled a list of where each Raptor ranked in the panel’s eyes, and have included the player each Raptor is preceded by and followed by, to give you an idea of the kind of company each Raptor is keeping in these rankings.

In addition, I’ve included where five Raptors (Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Landry Fields, Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas) rank by position and where Toronto’s three rookies rank among first year players.

So without further ado, here’s how 104 ESPN-titled experts see the 16 Raptors compared to the rest of the NBA:

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Spain put up a good fight, but ultimately fell short against the mighty U.S. in the gold medal final. Jose Calderon continued his inconsistent Olympics with another invisible performance (17 Min, 0 Pts, 0/1 FG, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 TO), but goes home with a coveted silver medal.

Let’s recap how the three Raptors in London fared over the last two weeks:

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The innocence of the group stage subsided (with help from Nicolas Batum) and the tension of the knockout phase began at the Olympic basketball tournament on Wednesday.

Jonas Valanciunas and Linas Kleiza’s Lithuanian team saw their tournament come to an end, while Jose Calderon and Spain rallied past France in a feisty quarterfinal battle.

But how did the three Raptors fare individually?

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The Group Stage of the 2012 Olympic tournament has shifted into top gear, and the results that took it there are both Raptors-related. Linas Kleiza’s and Jonas Valanciunas’ Lithuanian team gave the star-studded Americans all they could handle, even holding a lead in the fourth quarter before falling valiantly by just five points. Meanwhile, Jose Calderon’s Spanish side continues to look shaky in London, and they finally paid for it with a three-point loss to an upstart Russian side.

So how did Kleiza, Valanciunas and Calderon fare today? I’m glad you asked.

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