Andrei Kirilenko and CSKA Moscow: Week of 1/2
CKSA had two weeks off for Christmas and New Year’s, and returned to action at BC Minsk-2006 on Wednesday in a VTB United League game. AK didn’t play, and it was a 44-point blowout win, 96-52. CSKA is now tied for the second-best record in the league with a record of 7-1, while Minsk fell to a league-worst 0-8.
On Saturday, CSKA played at BC Enisey in a Russian PBL game. Hoops fans in Siberia were eagerly anticipating AK’s arrival, and there was a wave of tweets (with liberal use of exclamation marks) announcing that AK had landed in Siberia.
It was AK’s first real action since The Injury (if you recall, he did play one game with a mask last month, but was hampered by limited shoulder mobility).
This time around, Andrei was good to go. He came off the bench and was soon making interceptions in the passing lanes and diving for loose balls/jumping over the divider (above). There was one play where AK stole a pass and ran down the floor for a breakaway dunk. The play succeeded in waking up the camera operator, who was probably snoozing due to the unclose nature of the game (CSKA ended up winning by 22, 102-80).
In 12 minutes, AK collected 10 points (3-4), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 2 blocks. With the win, CSKA remained the best team in the league with a record of 6-1.
Instagram posted by @KseniaLevko of AK after the game. Translated tweet: “Next to the door Kirilenko. And all the rest–hungry for autographs and photos.”
Two more games (VTB/PBL) next week, and then the Euroleague Top 16 starts!