Things changed for him last season, as he led the Euroleague in scoring.
“I became a more complete player than when I was here (in the NBA),” Kleiza said. “I really calmed down, learned to take my time. I used to be rushing for a lot of things. You get in and you try to score all of the time. That’s the style we had in Denver. Now, I just feel like I’m a different player.”
Specifically, he got back to being the type of player he was in high school in Maryland and at the University of Missouri. He operated more in the post, an area where Raptors small forwards have been loath to go in the past.
“I didn’t play there in the NBA at all,” Kleiza said. “Going back there, and remembering and doing it all over again, yeah, I feel very comfortable. I have a lot of advantages against (small forwards). Not a lot of (small forwards) can guard me in the post.
“I definitely didn’t want to go back to the NBA and have that set role on one of those teams. I was not going to go there. Definitely not.”