Will Andrei Kirilenko Suit Up Tonight for Utah?
With the Jazz trying to escape L.A. with a series split, they may get one of their key players back for pivotal Game 2 tonight. From the Press-Enterprise: ” Veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko, who last played on March 26 and has missed 22 of the past 24 games with a strained left calf muscle, practiced Monday and could play tonight. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan told reporters at Utah’s practice Monday that a decision wouldn’t be made until the pregame shootaround. Kirilenko, who averaged 11.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 58 regular-season games, faced the Lakers just once this year, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds and four blocks in the Lakers’ 96-81 win at Utah on Feb. 10. ‘He adds a lot of energy to their team,’ said Kobe Bryant. ‘He’s a very versatile defender. He’s an excellent passer. He’s all over the place. You have to account for him when he’s on the floor.’ Lamar Odom also cited the versatility of the 6-foot-9 Kirilenko. ‘He’s a great off-the-ball defender, a great on-the-ball defender,’ said Odom. ‘Any team, at this point, misses a key player like Andrei Kirilenko.”‘