The Minnesota Timberwolves will have been delighted by what they have seen from new signings, Andrei Kirilenko and Alexy Shved, as the duo started their Olympic Games campaign in sensational form for Russia.
Both players may be new to the Timberwolves team, but the pair will bring a chemistry to Minnesota, one formed while playing together for their national side and for Russian team, CSKA Moscow.
The duo played key roles in Russia’s comfortable 96-75 victory against Great Britain in their opening Olympic Games clash. Kirilenko racked up a monstrous 35 points, 14 from 17 shooting from the field, while Shved produced a valuable 16 points, along with 13 assists in an eye-catching display.
The Russians will come up against much firmer tests, later in the competition, but that will not have stopped Timberwolves fans licking their lips, after seeing how Shved and Kirilenko worked together to see off Luol Deng and his Great British team in very professional fashion in London.
While Kirilenko will most likely be a major part of the Timberwolves starting team, Shved could be used as a bit-part player until he properly adjusts to life in the NBA.
The 23-year old shooting guard will have a role to play next season, and has received the backing of his fellow countryman, Kirilenko, who believes that playing with Shved at international level will help them in their NBA side.
“I think he (Shved) is doing a good job. Last year, we played together. We’ve got connection. He knows when I’m going to cut. I know when he’s going to start driving so I give him space,” said Kirilenko.