Andrei Kirilenko will play vs. Pistons


Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko
Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko will suit up against the Detroit Pistons Friday night, the team announced today. Kirilenko hasn’t played since spraining his ankle on March 23rd, in the first half against the Dallas Mavericks.

Kirilenko targeted a mid-week return this week, but sat out Wednesday against the New York Knicks. “I know he feels great,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said before that game.

Kirilenko’s put up paltry numbers: just 5.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 18.4 minutes per game. He’s played in just 37 of a possible 74 games this year after dealing with back and calf issues.. But Kirilenko’s value goes beyond the numbers: he’s one of Brooklyn’s top defenders and an excellent player off the ball. He broke down his court vision and defensive acumen with The Brooklyn Game in February.

The Nets are 17-1 at home when Kirilenko plays and 26-11 overall.