Andrei Kirilenko and CSKA Moscow: Week of 11/28
CSKA won both its Euroleague game against Brose Baskets (exciting game that came down to the last shot) and its PBL game against Lietuvas Rytas this week.
CSKA and Barcelona (both 7-0) are the only still-undefeated teams in Euroleague, and CSKA is also a perfect 4-0 in the PBL. These two wins were the team’s 15th and 16th consecutive wins across three leagues.
AK should be back on the court this week…but it remains to be seen where. The Russian media has reported that 16 NBA teams have expressed interest in AK (more on that later), but according to BTS, the Jazz are not one of those teams (Trib).
Did a little random number crunching and CSKA’s average point differential (+14 overall) is +16 with AK and +11 without. Pretty big difference considering European teams generally average around 80 points per game.
In related news, CSKA center and champion chair fighter Nenad Krstic was named Euroleague MVP for the month of November. That makes AK and Krstic the first teammates to win MVP in consecutive months since the inception of the award.
After the announcement, Krstic was asked about AK and his role on the team:
Not all was good news for CSKA this week, since we heard that Andrei Kirilenko won’t play through the end of December, at least. How will that affect the team?
“It affects a lot, because obviously Andrei is a big part of our game offensively and defensively. Especially in the defensive end, of course, because he is such a different player than anybody else. He takes cares of every opponent, at any position. He is a smart player on offense, talented and intelligent. The one thing I didn’t know about him is that he was such an unselfish player. He makes other players so much better in our team. … A lot of guys are playing well, but hopefully Andrei will be back soon and everything will be as it was before.” (EL)