There hasn’t been a lot of great news out of Denver lately as far as the Nuggets are concerned. They fired head coach George Karl. They lost GM Masai Ujiri to the Toronto Raptors. One of their best players in Andre Iguodala is opting out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.
Finally, though, there’s something positive to report.
Danilo Gallinari suffered a torn ACL at the beginning of April that forced him out of action for the rest of the year, and the injury was expected to sideline him through February of next season.
But now, it appears his return could come much quicker than that.
From the Associated Press:
Team spokesman Tim Gelt forwarded a statement from the clinic to The Associated Press on Friday night that read: “Danilo Gallinari had an arthroscopic procedure to promote healing of his ACL tear, which was found to be partially torn at the time of surgery. Dr. Steadman has performed over 2,000 of these procedures. We are hopeful that Danilo will return to basketball sooner than if he had a complete ACL reconstruction.”
Gallinari also posted a video Friday on his official Facebook page in which he delivered the good news, saying in Italian that his recovery time will be “completely different” that previously expected.
This could mean a return to basketball as early as December, reports Ben Hochman of the Denver Post.
The loss of Gallinari was near the top of the lists of reasons that the Nuggets were ill-equipped to deal with the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, and was among those that ownership in Denver cited for parting ways with Karl. It wasn’t believed that he would be in a favorable position coaching in the final year of his contract while losses potentially piled up early in the season with Gallinari out of action.
Gallinari averaged 16.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game for the Nuggets last season.
Clippers guard Patrick Beverley got ejected and fined for throwing the ball at Mavericks fan Don Knobler last month. Beverley’s punishment was warranted.
But what about Knobler? He admitted to insulting Beverley’s mother, though denied Beverley’s charge of profanity.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Sources told ESPN that Don Knobler, a fan known for his flamboyant wardrobe who has long sat courtside at Mavericks home games, was banned from the arena for the remainder of the season after an investigation by the organization confirmed Beverley’s account of their interaction.
According to sources, fans complained that Knobler had inappropriately heckled opposing players on other occasions as well.
Good for the Mavericks for investigating. They’ve lost the benefit of the doubt on their investigations being thorough, but hopefully this one was.
Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic got ejected a few days ago for kicking the ball into the crowd, his second technical foul of the game.
That outburst also got him fined.
Dallas Mavericks guard-forward Luka Dončić has been fined $10,000 for kicking the game ball into the spectator stands, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.
The incident, for which Dončić was assessed his second technical foul and ejected, occurred with 3:00 remaining in the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 111-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 19
Players usually get fined $25,000 for throwing something into the stands. But sometimes, they get just a $10,000 fine for that, seemingly if it appears they didn’t intend for the object to reach the crowd.
Did Doncic mean to kick the ball as far as he did?
Who knows? But it seems he got the benefit of the doubt here.
The Rockets signed Kenneth Faried, importantly to them, before their game against the 76ers yesterday. With Clint Capela injured, Houston needed another big against Joel Embiid.
But the Rockets had to open a roster spot for Faried. Their clear preference was trading Carmelo Anthony. Failing that, they’d release James Nunnally.
Houston agreed to deal Anthony to the Bulls but couldn’t complete the trade because the league office was closed, as is the norm on weekends and holidays (in this case, Martin Luther King Day). So, the Rockets dropped Nunnally, eating the remaining salary on his 10-day contract, increasing their luxury-tax bill and costing him the opportunity to play for a team that could use him.
Houston coach Mike D’Antoni, via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“I don’t think it’s right,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of having to terminate Nunnally. “There’s ways (the league) could have facilitated it.”
What happened to the Rockets was fair in that the rules were clear and applied equally to each team.
But I agree with D’Antoni. Games don’t stop for weekends and holidays. The league office shouldn’t, either.
Teams should have more ability to change their rosters on the fly, because games come so quickly. Halting business for weekends and holidays is antiquated. This is a global, multi-billion-dollar operation now.
The NBA can afford to employ enough people who review trades not to overwork any of them. It’d create a better product and make the sport operate more smoothly.
See, the Warriors are fallible.
Though Stephen Curry‘s mishaps coming during a blowout win undercuts the point.