Andrei Kirilenko and CSKA Moscow: Week of 4/16 and 4/23
CSKA had a clean sweep in its last three PBL regular season games against Spartak Primorye (4/17), Krasnye Krylya (4/20), and Khimki (4/24), winning the three games by an average of 27 points. Jonas Kazlauskas rested AK (who may have been dealing with some nagging back issues) in the first two of the three.
Local account, Google translated:
The third game, however, was too important for Kazlauskas to continue sitting AK.
Khimki had just won the Eurocup championship (second-tier European competition after Euroleague) days earlier, and this game would determine who got the #1 seed and who would drop to #2 in the PBL Playoffs.
While he collected 4 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in the first quarter, AK was also called for three fouls in 8 minutes in the quarter (players foul out after five) and had to sit the rest of the half.
He played most of the third quarter, but came out of the game with 30 seconds left in the period after putting CSKA up 20 on a 3. Think he was subbed out because of a bleeding cut on his arm, but the feed was fuzzy and all I could see was AK pointing at his arm. Later, when the camera panned to him on the bench, he had a gauze bandage wrapped around his arm.
AK’s line: 12 points (4-7), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 block in 17 minutes.
This game was the last of all regular season games for CSKA across its three leagues. CSKA’s 2011-2012 record: 41-3 (Euroleague: 10-0; PBL: 17-1; VTB: 14-2).
As previously mentioned, AK won four weekly and one monthly MVP awards in the Euroleague. On 4/19, he was chosen by league coaches as the Euroleague 2011-2012 Best Defender.
From the EL’s press release:
After a season of watching him block shots left and right, clean up on the defensive glass and invade passing lanes for steals, Turkish Airlines Euroleague head coaches have made CSKA Moscow forward Andrei Kirilenko this season’s Best Defender Trophy winner! Kirilenko, who turned 31 during the season, made life difficult for any opposing player trying to score this season. He led the competition in three key components of defense with his 7.2 rebounds per game, including 5.5 on defense, and 1.9 blocked shots on average. Moreover, he ranked second with 1.53 steals per game.
His single-game highs of 6 steals and 5 blocks – both in the first five games of the season – matched the most seen in the competition all season. Kirilenko also finished the season as the Euroleague leader in performance index rating, with 24.1 per game, and ranked sixth with 14 points on average. He was the Euroleague’s only player to rank among the 10 best in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks.
One day later, the Euroleague announced the ten players on the 2011-2012 All-Euroleague [first and second] teams, and AK and teammates Nenad Krstic and Milos Teodosic were among the ten. Which players made which team will be announced at the league’s Award Ceremony on 5/12 during the Final Four in Istanbul, which is also when AK will receive his Best Defender award. The winner of the MVP award will also be announced then.
The Euroleague Best Defender Award is AK’s second major award of the season after the VTB MVP Award.
On 4/26, AK was also named to the PBL’s first team.
On 4/25, the Russian Basketball Federation announced its list of 16 players invited to camp for the national team that will compete in the Olympics. Training camp starts on 5/31, and 12 of the 16 will make the team. 11 of the 16 played on Team Russia during last year’s Eurobasket. Seven of the 16 are CSKA players, including AK, AK’s BFF Viktor Khryapa, Alexei Shved, Andrei Vorontsevich, Anton Ponkrashov, Sasha Kaun, and Evgeny Voronov. Three others are Khimki players (four if you count Timofey Mozgov).