So maybe I have Andrei Kirilenko on the brain after that interview with him for HoopSpeak, but I found what Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney had to say about his potential as a near-All-Star this season interesting:
“I found Andrei Kirilenko to be hypothetically worthy of an All-Star spot, but beaten out by the sheer number of quality candidates in the West. Kirilenko’s value to the Timberwolves has been inflated over the course of the season by a horrid string of injuries, but I don’t see that bit of circumstance as any kind of demerit. If anything, Kirilenko has taken the opportunity presented and used it to showcase his incredible value, and in the process helped Minnesota more than even the most ardent AK supporters could have predicted. On defense, he’s one of the few perimeter-ish defenders that can approach a LeBron-like level of court coverage and overall impact. He’s capable of smothering his own man, but Kirilenko’s next-level value comes in the way he positions himself to disrupt the maximum number of plays possible and moves to make the correct judgments as a help defender without the slightest hesitation. Kirilenko has put together a wonderful season — he just has the misfortune of competing against players who are a bit more prolific and a bit more qualified.”
That comes from his post on his picks for the All-Star reserves, which is worth reading in its entirety.