Posts Tagged ‘Wilson Chanler’

Nuggets Suffer Blow From Gallinari Loss

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HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Word came down Friday afternoon that the Nuggets’ Danilo Gallinari indeed has a torn ACL in his left knee, an ugly injury suffered in Thursday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks.

It could be a huge blow to the Nuggets and, consequently, to the competitiveness of the Western Conference beyond the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs.

The Nuggets have the league’s best home record (34-3) and the league’s second best record (35-9) since Jan. 1. Since the All-Star break, they have the No. 3 offense and the No. 7 defense.

Gallinari has obviously been a big part of that success. With 51 more 3-pointers than any of his teammates, he’s the one guy who can really space the floor. And Denver has been a better team, both offensively and defensively, with him in the game.

Nuggets efficiency with Gallinari on and off the floor

On/off floor MIN OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
On floor 2,309 108.8 101.6 +7.2 +334
Off floor 1,379 105.3 103.0 +2.3 +28

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

The Nuggets with Gallinari on the floor have the point differential of a 62-win team. The Nuggets with Gallinari off the floor have the point differential of a 44-win team.

But, as a starter, Gallinari has played most of his minutes with his best teammates, which can make his make his on-off-court discrepancy look more drastic than his actual value.

Most minutes with Gallinari

Player MIN % of DG’s minutes
Andre Iguodala 1,755 76%
Ty Lawson 1,707 74%
Kenneth Faried 1,569 68%
Kosta Koufos 1,280 55%
Andre Miller 984 43%
Corey Brewer 737 32%
JaVale McGee 586 25%
Wilson Chandler 358 16%

The Nuggets are obviously deeper since Chandler returned in mid-January. Even without Gallinari, they still have three wings – Iguodala, Chandler and Brewer – who George Karl can trust. And Evan Fournier has shown some flashes of an ability to contribute over the last week.

Karl’s ability to go small, however, is now a bit limited. The Nuggets have played 870 minutes with three of the four veteran wings on the floor together, most of those (597) with Gallinari as one of the three. Those have been great minutes for the Nuggets, played at a very fast pace.

Nuggets efficiency with three of Brewer, Chandler, Gallinari & Iguodala on floor

Combination MIN Pace OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Including Gallinari 597 100.0 112.9 100.4 +12.5 +108
Brewer + Chandler + Iguodala, no Gallinari 273 100.4 107.1 93.9 +13.2 +51
Total 870 100.1 111.1 98.4 +12.8 +159

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes

Without Gallinari, the trio of Brewer, Chandler and Iguodala will have to take on a larger load. The good news is that the Nuggets’ defense, as you might expect, has been excellent with those three on the floor together.

The Nuggets still need a healthy Ty Lawson to pose a serious threat to the top two teams in the West, but improved defense could help absorb the loss of their second leading scorer.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.