Andrei Kirilenko, I suppose, is like a method actor (specifically the Meisner technique). He has to really live his role 24/7, he needs to really get into it, in order to do well in it. I guess this explains why he spends so much time having difficulty adjusting between roles depending on where Jerry uses him. For example, back in 2005-2006 -- the first Boozer hamstring injury season -- AK had a bad pre-season, but when he had to end up playing PF because Booz when down, AK was back to his DeShawn/Arroyo days and produced accordingly.
I guess warming up is very important to him, and the more time between the shoot-around and the pre-game warm up till he plays is really going to screw things up for him. Or at least, that's what he suggests will happen. I'm sure it's a give and take between what he is used to and what he needs to do until his familiar with being the 6th man on an NBA team at this stage in his career. Then again, fellow Russian Pavlov would state that you can teach an old dog some new tricks . . . so I think AK will be fine in time.
|Photographed by Danny Chan LA for the Salt Lake Tribune|
"Kirilenko did acknowledge that his shooting might suffer if he has to wait seven minutes to check into a game. 'It is harder, but what I can do?' he said. 'Just go and warm up a little big better. I'm trying to do the same routine every time.' " (Kirilenko, via R. Siler, 2008)
That's the essence of conditioning, and when it becomes second nature to him (you know, bringing back the whole Meisner issue of repetition) he'll be able to produce better. I understand that he needs to 'see' a lot of shots go up (and go in) in order to feel offensively confident. He's just going to have to visualize a bit more, instead of having the advantage of going into the game warmed up.
Coming off the bench isn't easy, that's why so few players are actually known for being effective at it -- like the Microwave was. He got hot at the touch of a button, instantly. I think that's a mental component that our friendly neighborhood Russian may not have. I guess like most things this season, we're just going to have to see how it turns out.