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Linas Kleiza – The Jazz Killer

A Jazz Killer is, naturally, some guy on the other team who routinely lights us up. Many times this individual is a star recognized all over the globe, like a Kobe Bryant. It’s not ‘special’ when Kobe lights the Jazz up – he lights everyone up. It hurts so much more when the Jazz killer is a guy who is decidedly average, but his eyes light up when playing against us. Probably the best example, in recent history at least, is the Toronto Raptors Linas Kleiza. We fear and respect him. We also wonder: "What did we ever do to him to make him hate us so much?" He’s done everything to us. He set his career high. He even had close to a double double in just garbage time. He always seems to find a new way to rip our hearts out of our chests. He is one in a seemingly endless line of Jazz Killing role players. Here’s a look at only 5 (there are more) of his Jazz Killing games:

  • Jan 17, 2008: 41 points, 9 rebounds, 4 threes, 11/14 FTs, and a bunch assists as a member of the Denver Nuggets
  • Jan 25th, 2012: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 three, 5/5 at the line, in a huge come from behind double overtime victory as a member of the Toronto Raptors
  • Jan 25th, 2009: 18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 threes, 3/3 at the FT line, 1 assist, block, and steal as a Denver Nugget
  • Jan 6th, 2007: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 three, 6/8 at the FT line, 1.89 PPS, again, a Nugget.
  • April, 12th, 2006: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 6/9 from the FT line, once again, Denver Nugget

I could go on and on, listing all the times he came away with a win, while embarrassing our scouting department. In the old LHM days he would have demanded that we somehow trade for him or sign him as a free agent. For his career he averages 8.6 ppg (44.6 fg%), 3.6 rpg, and 0.8 apg. Against the Jazz, well, I don’t even want to tell you. He’s a beast.

No. He’s a Jazz Killer.