As well as the Denver Nuggets have been playing over the last couple of months, their hopes for a deep playoff run are in real trouble.
Ty Lawson is already out for an extended period of time with plantar fasciitis, and now it looks like Danilo Gallinari could be done for the season. I’m certainly no doctor but if Gallinari plays again this season after suffering what looked like a serious knee injury versus the Dallas Mavericks, it would be a shocker.
It’s true the Nuggets are a deep team — that’s been their biggest strength through this season, but the loss of Lawson and Gallinari will be too much to overcome. The hope is that Lawson will be back for the playoffs but anyone who has had plantar fasciitis knows that it takes a lot longer than two weeks for that injury to completely heal.
Lawson could come back in game one of the playoffs, feeling good, and re-injure it in the first quarter. That type of injury can feel like it is healed, but it only takes one wrong move to tear it again. Even if he is able to play, the injury is going to take away some of his speed and explosiveness, and those are the two things that make Lawson great.
If he can’t move like he normally does, then he’s just another player. Getting Lawson back is important, but getting the real Lawson back is critical to any playoff hopes. The Nuggets have won some games without Lawson, but they have no shot in the playoffs without him.
Gallinari is up and down at times, but he is the team’s second leading scorer behind Lawson and his loss would be tough to overcome if Lawson was healthy. If both of them are out for the playoffs, then the Nuggets are very likely done in the first-round.
It’s too bad because this team had a chance to do some things and they are in a position to survive some injuries, but not to Lawson and Gallinari. The best case scenario at this point is Lawson comes back with no ill effects in the playoffs and leads the team.
As for Gallinari, there is no official word as I write this but if you saw the injury, then you know the chances of him coming back this season are virtually non-existent. For so long, it looked like this was going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs and now the hope might be just to win a round.
The Nuggets are a deep team — we are about to find out how deep.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7