Kleiza breaks out of funk ... for now
It was nice to see Linas Kleiza break out a bit last night. After playing just 13 combined minutes versus the Hornets and Mavericks and scoring 7 points in those two games, LK scored 22 points on 9-14 shooting in 21 minutes against the Warriors.
Kleiza was only 1-4 from downtown, but after shooing 13% in March from beyond the arc before last night's game it was nice to see him knock down a shot from distance. LK is now 5-28 in the month of March from three-point land. In his previous 10 games Kleiza was 1-15 from deep and his one make was on that running hook shot as time expired in the quarter against the Suns.
I don't think I've ever seen a player slump as much as poor Kleiza. I have no idea if Linas will be resigned in the offseason. He's a restricted free agent, but I don't see too many teams offering him big deals. He has said he'd head overseas if he can't work out a deal with an NBA team, but come on ... this is the NBA and I don't see Kleiza being happy with that move.
I don't know what to think about Kleiza. I worry that if he leaves the Nuggets that he'll turn into a solid player. I originally thought that LK had what it took to be a starter in the NBA, but after watching him over these past few seasons I don't think that is true anymore. He's one of those guys you want to keep because he shows glimpses, but at some point you have to get over that infatuation and realize the kid's ceiling isn't as high as you thought. He plays his best ball when he's attacking the rim and he really excels in an open court game. I could see the Knicks and D'Antoni's style being a good fit for LK, but the Knicks are not looking to add any payroll with the LeBron situation.
But for now I think I'll probably continue to hope LK can be a more consistent contributor for the Nuggets as they desperately need him come playoff time.
The Warriors probably could have used LK last night as they only dressed 8 players for the game and those 8 didn't have the firepower to stay with the Nuggets. After opening up a 23-9 lead to start the game Golden State's defense was not able to hold the Nuggets down for long and Denver ended the quarter up 28-27.
The Nuggets offense then turned it up a notch and scored 38 points in both the 2nd and 3rd quarters. It was basically a layup line to the hoop and a pretty nice dunk contest for Denver. The Nuggets finished with 37 team assists and AC led the way with 13 dimes.
The 4th quarter was pretty much just a formality as the Nuggets breezed to their 48th win of the season and with tie breakers the Nuggets now sit as the 3rd seed out West.
I didn't realize how many technical fouls the Nuggets had this season. The Denver Post's Chris Dempsey reveals some troubling news for the Nuggets in his latest article here. Click the link to see which Nugget is close to a league mandated suspension ... it's not good!
"... the Nuggets have more technical fouls than any other team, a total of 63 going into Saturday's game. Boston had 51 going into Saturday's action, and Phoenix had 50."
Do yourself a favor and watch the dunk fest either again or if you missed the game ... either way it's great to watch and re-watch these plays!
NBA Recap Warriors Vs. Nuggets 3.28.09 (Watch In HQ) (via NBAFan43)
Views you can use:
- Melo led the way with 31 points and finished with 6 rebounds and 5 assists
- Kenyon Martin led the team with 4 blocked shots
- Chris Anderson turned in his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds and the Nuggets are 5-0 when the Bird notches a double-double
Opposition: Golden State of Mind