Preview: Andrei Kirilenko on defending Kevin Durant

This week, Andrei Kirilenko sat down with The Brooklyn Game to discuss his defensive strategies in a variety of situations and against some of the league’s best scorers. The full piece will go up in a few days, but with a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder looming Friday, I wanted to post a brief preview of Kirilenko breaking down his strategies when defending Kevin Durant.

In particular, I’d noticed that Kirilenko fronted Durant more often than most other players, and I was curious about the strategy. Kirilenko is questionable to play Friday with a strained calf.

Listen to his answer above, or if you’re not able to watch a video right now, read the transcript below.

Andrei Kirilenko: Definitely it’s tough to pass over me. When I’m fronting the guy, it makes catching the ball harder. If he just get the ball, easy, he’s got that freedom of movement. He knows what he’s going to do. But if he fights to get the pass first, it’s just in his mind, ‘I have to fight, then I finally got that ball,’ you don’t have the quick second to get that decision. I mean, some of the great players do. Kevin he’s great at those decisions, but you make his job way harder.

You won’t let him get the ball where he wants it, he just got it in the wrong position, he’s not facing you. He needs to take the time to face you, which he’ll still do. But he spends time. He wastes his time on the turn, and all the other guys are sitting, waiting for him, and all our guys get into help. If he got it right away, he just starts playing, and he can see all the floor.