T.Jose Caldeford: Getting to know Barbosa and Kleiza
Old 07-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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T.Jose Caldeford: Getting to know Barbosa and Kleiza


On the surface, Leandro Barbosa had his least successful season as a pro in 2009-10. He struggled with injuries, and when he was in the lineup, he found his minutes eaten away in the backcourt by Goran Dragic, Jason Richardson, and Jared Dudley.

He averaged 18 mpg (lowest since 04-05), shot a career-low 42% from the field (prev. low - 45%), 32% from 3-point land (prev. low - 37%), and therefore averaged under 10 pts per game for the first time in five seasons.

There's the bad.

Here's the good: When Barbosa was on the court, the Suns tended to be pretty good. Barbosa frequently pops up in Phoenix's best lineups, and his net plus/minus of +1.7 was 4th best on the team (behind Nash, Stoudemire, and Richardson).

Here's the best: Barbosa knows how to get to the rim. He's averaged over 5 attempts at the rim per 40 minutes in every NBA season he's played in, including averaging 6 per 40 minutes this past season.

To put that number in context, let's show where current Raptors rank in terms of attempts at the rim per 40 minutes last season:

Evans 6.4
Barbosa 6.0
Johnson 5.8
DeRozan 5.2
Jack 3.6
Weems 3.6
Banks 3.5
Bargnani 3.4
Calderon 3.4
Belinelli 3.1

So, in other words, the Raptors finally have a player capable of penetrating from the perimeter and getting to the hoop.


The first thing about Kleiza that should be pointed out right away is that despite being known mainly as a small forward (and expected to compete for the starting spot in Toronto), the majority of his playing time as a Nugget in 2008-09 came as a Power Forward.

Granted, he was more effective in his time as a Small Forward (especially on the defensive side of the ball), but still, I think you actually might see a repeat of 08-09 in this upcoming season. I'm not sold that Amir Johnson will be able to stay on the floor (re: foul trouble), and I'm not sure Ed Davis or Solomon Alabi is ready for prime time. Also, if you read between the lines of what Bryan Colangelo is saying in the press, it sounds as if he wants his team to go small a fair bit, and I think the only way that happens is with Kleiza at the 4.


Kleiza is not shy. He's a chucker of Belinelli-like proportions. Among the 2008-9 Nuggets, only Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith took more shots per minute than Kleiza, and only Smith took more 3-pointers than Kleiza's 6 per 40 minutes. Consider where that number would rank among last season's Raptors:

3pt FG per 40 mins

Kleiza 6.0
Belinelli 5.6
Turkoglu 5.1
Wright 5.0
Bargnani 4.6
Calderon 3.8
Jack 3.5

(FYI: Barbosa 6.9 per 40 mins last season)
LINK - T.Jose Calderford
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Barbosa had a bum wrist last season, had an off season. He's only 27 and i think he'll be good here (13ppg/4apg). And Kleiza i also think will do well, i think he'll be called upon to have a sizeable role here and play 25+mpg (12-14ppg/5rpg).
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm guessing both these guys are going to find themselves in bigger roles than they might be capable of handling. In that case I think Barbosa could still help the team while being ineffective over stretches. His speed could help throw opposing teams off-balance. If things go south in a hurry, I personally could stand to see Barbosa playing a role similar to Brandon Jennings, sometimes effective and sometimes ugly, but if there's enough emphasis on defense from the rest, and they dig out some of the misses, then they can pull out some wins regardless.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So is Kleiza official yet?
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KirHarold View Post
So is Kleiza official yet?
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