This is just terrible news — Danilo Gallinari’s knee injury suffered Thursday night appears to be a torn ACL that will end the season for Denver’s second leading scorer. It will take a Friday MRI to confirm but things are not good, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
“The doctor indicated that the ligament was loose,” one source told Yahoo! Sports. “They expect that it’s a torn ACL.”
That would sideline him not only this playoffs but for likely at least half of next season (depends on the severity of the tear).
Gallinari averages 16.2 points a game and is a big part of how Denver runs and spaces the floor (he is shooting 41 percent from three). He plays the four and his ability to pull bigs out to the arc to defend him opens up a lot of driving lanes. Wilson Chandler and Corey Brewer will get the call to fill in those points in Gallo’s absence — and they can, although not as consistently. This also could open up some minutes for rookie Evan Fournier, who has played better of late.
The Gallinari injury combined with Ty Lawson being out with a torn plantar facia in his heel make the Nuggets much more vulnerable in the playoffs. Lawson is the guy that drives that high powered Nugget offense and while he could be back for the postseason if he is not 100 percent neither is Denver. When a team’s two leading scorers are out they just are not as dangerous. And this rash of injuries could not have come at a worse time for a Nuggets team that looked like a real playoff threat.