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Minnesota will miss "steady, persistent production" from Andrea Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko via Instagram

Phil Ervin, a columnist for FOX Sports North, writes that the Timberwolves will miss Andrei Kirilenko not so much for dramatic moments, but for his "steady, persistent production."

Ervin writes of last season...

"A sizable load was heaped upon the 11-year veteran's shoulders during an injury-riddled stint in Minneapolis. With starters and rotation players dropping left and right, Kirilenko was forced into added playing time and asked to score, facilitate and defend...

"But it's the minute details -- setup passes, maneuvering through screens, shot selection -- that have largely defined his career. It was those facets, only noticeable by the most attentive of spectators, that he developed during a decade in Utah and transported to the North."

Ervin also notes that Kirilenko led the T-Wolves in minutes and was second in scoring at 12.4 points per game. That's his highest average since 2005-06 and his 50.7 percent shooting percentage was a career high. He had three games of 20 and 10, and seven double doubles. Nets fans also recall how in November he dismantled a 22-point second half Nets lead, with one of those stat lines that resemble a European phone number: 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks.

Ervin also said the T-Wolves will miss his mentoring of Team Russia and Minnesota teammate Alexey Shved, who said of AK-47, "This is a different culture. … He always helps me, he and his wife Masha, they've lived here 11 years, so they know everything," Shved told Ervin. "For sure, I'll miss them there."