Don't let the final stat line against Tunisia fool you.
Before entering the Monday afternoon game, Linas Kleiza of Lithuania was playing in full beast mode on both ends of the floor and is certainly a big reason Lithuania was able to put a little fear into Team USA on Saturday for three-and-a-half quarters.
After dropping 25 points on Saturday, Kleiza finished with 4 points and 6 rebounds in 24 minutes as Lithuania held off a scare of their own against Tunisia, 69-61. But prior to Monday, the Toronto Raptors forward was averaging 18.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in the 2012 London Olympics and playing some of the better defense for Lithuania in general.
London has also reminded hoop heads in Toronto that there is more than one Lithuanian product to keep an eye on these days.
Kleiza's inside-outside game and fierce competitive nature almost makes you forget that Jonas Valanciunas has shrunk in the limelight at the Olympics. Almost.
Today's scoreless outing in 12 minutes of play says as much about the NBA rookie.
Despite Kleiza battling knee injuries the last two seasons (9.7 points per game in 49 games with 3 starts) his approach to London should boost Toronto's confidence in the 6'8 big man who helped Lithuania capture the Bronze at the World Championships in 2010.
If Kleiza can stay healthy, certainly playing alongside Landry Fields, DeMar DeRozan, Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani has the Raptors looking good -- at least on paper.
But before then, Kleiza and Lithuania have other hoops on their mind.
Lithuania will play Russia in the Quarter-Finals, which should be a battle and another chance for Kleiza to show he can still play at a high level.
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