Danilo Galilnari is expected to retrun to the Denver Nuggets around Thanksgiving. (Photo Nuggets.com)
Starting small forward Danilo Gallinari won’t play for the Denver Nuggets until the end of November as he continues to rehab an ACL tear from a game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 4th.
Having Gallinari sit out is a huge loss for the Nuggets. In 2012-13, The Nuggets went 52-24 with Gallinari as a starter. Gallinari averaged 16.2 points, the second most on the team, and 5.2 rebounds in 71 games. He also lead the team 3-pointers-made.
The “Rooster” told Sportando he’s been working hard in rehab, and plans to return to the team stronger and faster than before.
“I’m very happy with how things are going even if the path is still long,” said Gallinari. “ Its been a summer of hard work. Eight hours a day. You see the ball just in pictures and the time never passes. But I can see the results of the hard work and according to the doctors I should be ready for the end of November.”
Once he returns, Gallinari will have to learn Brian Shaw’s triangle-offense first hand. While on the NY Knicks, Gallinari played in a simialir run-and-gun offense under Mike D’Antoni that George Karl ran for the Nuggets from 2005-13. The new sceme could prove difficult for him.
Gallinari has attended practices for the Nuggets this offseason, and has been studying the triangle. However, the triangle offense takes time, and Gallinari will need floor time to fully utilize Shaw’s plan of attack.
In the new offense, Gallinari could see more three-point shots. With Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson slashing to the rim and kicking the ball out to the arc, Gallinari could have more open looks. Gallinari can also drive to the basket well–he will create shot opportunities for his teammates.
The Nuggets could make some major adjustments to their starting lineup once Gallinari returns. Coach Shaw has already teased the idea of putting Wilson Chandler at shooting guard with Gallinari healthy.
At the start of the season, the Nuggets may struggle without their star shooter. They play a tough first month facing: Chicago, New York, Oklahoma City, LA Lakers, Dallas (2x), San Antonio and Houston all before Thanksgiving.
Without Gallinari, the Nuggets will have a tough time winning games. Gallinari put the team on his back multiple times last season. The entire organization will count down the days until the “Italian Assassian” returns.
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