The Denver Nuggets have been waiting for the majority of the 2013-14 NBA season for the indefinite return date of forward Danilo Gallinari from a torn ACL that he suffered last year to arrive. However, that day isn’t going to happen this season given recent news.
According to an Associated Press report (posted on ESPN), Gallinari underwent a second surgery on his left knee to repair his ACL after the team concluded that the knee surgery Galinari received this summer was insufficient.
Not having Gallinari for the entire year is a huge blow to this Denver team, firstly because of Gallinari’s potency as an offensive player. Though he’s shot just 41.9 percent from the field over his career, his dangerousness as a perimeter scorer is huge for this Nuggets team. For a team that doesn’t have many reliable options for outside scoring, that was an area that Gallinari was expected to give them a boost in when he returned.
More than his production, though, Gallinari’s effect on this team’s rotation can also be felt. For much of the season, new Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw has been incredibly inconsistent with his rotations, which is one of the major causes of his recent beef with veteran point guard Andre Miller. One thought about that might be that Shaw was relying on Gallo’s return to help solidify the rotations by giving them a reliable player on the wing that can be on the floor for big minutes nightly.
The Nuggets have won 18 percent fewer of their games since the start of last year without Gallinari in the lineup as opposed to when he’s healthy and playing. As the Nuggets continue this roller-coaster season, it’s hard to imagine them doing anything of note now that Gallinari won’t be returning.