Posted by: Andy-Larsen on February 11th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
Andrei Kirilenko’s resurgence on the Jazz is impossible to ignore. He put up fantastic stats on both offense and defense last month, and has been continuing it in February. To me, this started the night of January 6th, when he played PG, PF, and Center in a Jazz win over Memphis. That night, Andrei put up a 15 Pts/5 Reb/2 Ast/4 Stl /3 Blk night as he dominated the paint area.
Since then, he’s gone on a tear, playing like he used to as he’s helped the team win 9 in a row. Admittedly, Andrei has still played most of his minutes at small forward, but his minutes at other positions have increased as Jerry Sloan has taken advantage of his versatility. Furthermore, when he plays at PF/C, he plays, much, much better, on both ends of the court. Let’s look at the stats to see how he has improved.
82games.com keeps track of what position a player is playing at when he’s on the floor, in relation to his other teammates. This means that they say he has played no minutes at center, whatsoever. When AK plays with Millsap, I usually notice that Kirilenko guards the center, not Millsap. AK is 6′9”, where Millsap is 6′8”. Add in Kirilenko’s ridiculous wingspan, as well as the role in the offense he plays when playing center (he goes through the same movements Okur does when on the floor), I think it’s pretty clear that he has played some minutes at center this season.However, 82games lumps those minutes in at power forward.
At power forward, Andrei is fantastic. A couple of stat introductions: eFG% is the FG%, but adjusted for 3 point attempts (that is, 3 pointers are worth 1.5 times more than a 2 pointer). iFG% is the percentage of shots that are taken from the inside. PER is Hollinger’s stat to measure how efficient a player is overall. 15 is average, 30 is Lebron.
Player 48-Minute Production by Position
Opponent Counterpart 48-Minute Production
Net 48-Minute Production by Position
However, when he plays PF, Andrei is an all-world player. He averages more than 10 points a game(48 minutes) more than his opponent! By comparison, Deron only averages 4.8 points more than his opponent over 48 minutes. +13.6 PER advantage is insane; again, compare that to Deron, who averages +8.8 PER advantage over his opponents.
If this trend keeps up, Andrei, playing at the PF or center positions, can win a game by himself. Having an additional player of that caliber means that we are actually contenders in the West, rather than just a lucky team on a winning streak.
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