NBA Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets Lose: Danilo Gallinari Missing in Action

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The winning streak for the Denver Nuggets came to an end with a four-point, triple overtime loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. It’s certainly not the end of the world; they were going to lose a game at some point. They are still in good shape in terms of this current four-game road trip. They are 1-1 and if they can win the next two, then the Nuggets would head into the All-Star break at 35-19.

There were a number of reasons for the loss including, turnovers, tired legs and defense.  Give the Nuggets credit, despite not playing well for most of regulation, they hung in there and had multiple chances to win it. It was a fantastic game that one team had to lose, and it was the Nuggets. However, there is one aspect of the loss that cannot be overlooked.

Danilo Gallinari was terrible and it is not the first time that he’s turned in a game like this. He finally hit a couple of big shots in overtime but it was too little, too late. Everyone is going to have off nights shooting the basketball, but Gallinari looked like he had never played a game in the NBA before. He was careless with the basketball, made bad pass after bad pass and looked lost on the offensive side of the court. It’s okay to have an off night but don’t compound the problem by making dumb mistakes.

In addition to his ineptitude on the offensive side of the court, Gallinari could not guard anyone on the defensive side. It was as if the struggles shooting the ball affected his effort on defense, and that just can’t happen.

Gallinari is a talented player but when things are not going well, he disappears. If he is going to take that next step, then he has to be mentally tougher. Gallinari is not the reason the Nuggets winning streak ended at nine, but he sure didn’t help. The Nuggets were right there most of the night but could not hit that one big shot to get over the hump. Gallinari is certainly capable of hitting that type of shot, but not if he has already checked out mentally.

As a team, the streak may be over but the Nuggets proved again that they have taken the next step. In any season prior to this one, they get blown out in the first-half but they fought through everything and had many chances to win. There are no moral victories in the NBA, but the Nuggets can walk out of Boston knowing that they are a very good basketball team.

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