Duncan, Ginobili, Kirilenko all sidelined tonight
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- February 6, 2013 - 1:14 PM
Both the Wolves and Spurs concluded shootarounds not long ago at Target Center.
Here's some stuff that transpired:
* Spurs stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were on the floor for their shoot, but coach Gregg Popovich said neither will play tonight.
Duncan hurt his left knee in a scary fall Saturday against Washingotn and Ginobili has a tight hamstring.
The Spurs, btw, bring their 10-game winning streak tonight to start their traditional long February road trip while the rodeo invades San Antonio. They play the next nine on the road, heading into and coming out of All Star break.
* Wolves starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko will not play either because of that quad he strained in Monday's loss to Portland.
Kirilenko seems to be a pretty good judge of his body.
He was pretty close in his prediction when he had those back spasms earlier this season, so what does he say about this one?
"It's kind of new for me -- never had the quad -- but I guess probably four, five days," he said. "That's what I feel right now. You never know..."
He said he hopes to get back before the team heads into the All-Star break. The Wolves have five more games in the next week before the break.
* With Kirilenko out, expect Dante Cunningham to start with Derrick Williams in the frontcourt.
Rick Adelman could go with the three-guard thing, with Alexey Shved as a quasi-small forward, but I bet he'll go with DC's stability there instead.
* NBA commissioner David Stern will attend tonight's game. He also will meet with local media late this afternoon.
Think he'll take any action if Duncan and Ginobili indeed don't play?
* Kirilenko will receive the EuroPlayer of the Year award before tonight's game, putting him on a list of winners that also includes Dirk Nowitzki (six times), Pau Gasol (three times), Tony Parker, Peja Stojakovic and Toni Kukoc, among many others. It's given to the European player for his performance in a year with his club team and national team.
Kirilenko led the Russian Olympic team to a bronze medal last summer, took CSKA Moscow to the EuroLeague final four and now is back in the NBA.
"It's very nice to have, but I always think basketball is a team sport," he said. "Individual award is not indicating the full effort because it's usually the team effort."
I asked him if it's a meaningful, prestigious award in Europe.
"I have no idea, to be honest with you," he said. "My first time getting this award."
* If both teams were healthy tonight -- and everybody knows neither is, by a long shot -- there'd be 15 international players between them.
That's half of the 30 players total on both rosters.
The Spurs, of course, led the NBA's international movement and now the Wolves are following along.
"Minnesota has done it big time," Popovich said. "I think it's smart, it's very smart. Sometimes you can even get lucky and find somebody who's a Nowitzki or a Ginobili or a Parker."
* Popovich said new Wolves forward Mickael Gelabale had been on the Spurs' radar for some time.
"We've looked at him before, but never really had a position there," he said. "He's somebody we thought about a lot the last couple years."
* Tony Parker scored 55 points here at Target Center one night when both Duncan and Ginobili were out for the Spurs.
He said after shoot this morning that maybe he'll set an assists record tonight instead.
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