It hasn’t been the start that many Brooklyn Nets fans (and NBA pundits) expected in 2013-2014. The Nets are 2-4 with some ugly losses, and one of their prize pick-ups, Andrei Kirilenko, has struggled mightily since arriving in the Big Apple. Now, there is a hint as to what has contributed to his early-season woes.
Injury report: #Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko will not make the west coast trip to SAC/PHX/LAC due to back spasms
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 12, 2013
Kirilenko’s back issues help to illustrate what has been an abject disaster for him through 4 games (he sat out two already). The Nets have been significantly worse with him on the court this season, but the shocking stat is that Brooklyn has allowed 115 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end while AK47 is playing. That would be good for (easily) the worst defensive mark in the league over a full season, and his previously dominant defensive abilities have waned.
Offensively, he hasn’t been much better with a 51.4% true shooting percentage and limited athleticism. Without a closer look (his PER is 17.66), Kirilenko would look just fine, but a quick observation of him using the eye test indicates that he is far from 100%.
At minimum, he’ll be sitting for the next 3 games, but back troubles are notoriously fickle, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him sidelined for much longer.