5-on-5: The repercussions of Gallinari’s injury

After news broke that Danilo Gallinari would be sidelined for the remained of the year (and well into the 2013-14 season) with a torn ACL, questions arose in the minds of Nuggets fans across the globe. There has been talk about who will step up in his place, whether the Nuggets are severely weakened and even speculation about how this will affect the team’s roster moves this off-season. In RMC’s latest 5-on-5 our writers aim to address these topics in hopes of shedding some light (and perhaps even a little optimism) on how the Nuggets will fare moving forward without their starting small forward. As always, please feel free to post your answers to the following five questions in the comments section below.

With Gallinari out for the foreseeable future with a torn ACL…

1. How much will his absence affect the Nuggets in terms of overall production on the court?

Kalen: Honestly, I don’t think the Nuggets will take too big of a hit. The one aspect of his game they’ll miss the most is three-point shooting. Without Gallo there are very few players on this team who can knock down 3-pointers with consistency. Other than that, Chandler and Brewer should be able to make up for most of his offensive and defensive production.

Matt: The offense will hurt a bit because when Gallo got hot from the outside it provided a huge threat, but I think Chandler will do well enough to make up for the scoring. Where the injury really hurts is on the defensive end as Gallo really allowed the Nuggets to get creative with matchups, especially against OKC when he would cover Durant and let Iguodala play Westbrook. That flexibility is now lost and could lead to trouble for Denver.

Tom: Gallinari has attempted and made the most free throws on the team, plus he shoots an excellent percentage from the line. Chandler, Fournier, and Hamilton can all spread the floor, and between them they can replace his rebounding and passing, but nobody else on the team can draw fouls and convert them into points at nearly the rate Gallo does. That’s the area where the Nuggets’ production will suffer most.

Charlie: The Nuggets still have enough weapons to provide a reasonable replacement for his on-court production. What we don’t yet know is how much his extended absence will affect the balance and rhythm of a rotation that’s been so key to their success. Gallo’s range and versatility have made Denver’s small-ball lineups work while masking obvious weaknesses like three-point shooting. Denver has what they need to succeed but it’s a big adjustment for coaches and players to manage on such short notice.

Joel: Moderately. Gallo’s production was already in decline from the beginning of the year (Jan. 19.3 ppg, Feb. 16.3 ppg, Mar. 13.7 ppg), including missing a few games due to injury, so the Nuggets had already been relying on his scoring less than before. Chandler seems capable of filling in some of the vacuum, and Fournier’s scoring prowess has been a revelation. Those two will need to replicate Gallo’s grit in getting to the line, especially on the road, and they should be capable of doing so.

2. Are the Nuggets chances of securing the three seed and succeeding in the playoffs now in jeopardy?

Kalen: Somewhat, only because the West is so cluttered and winning every game is so essential. In the West you basically need to have a perfect season in order to make it out alive. Finding the right chemistry with two weeks left in the season is concerning, as is the Nuggets’ remaining schedule, but I also think there’s a really good chance they surprise all of us and play even better basketball than they have been.

Matt: Sure. Anytime you lose one of your best three players things get tougher and the Nuggets schedule down the stretch is not easy. Until Lawson comes back the Nuggets are going to be in the middle of a chemistry rebuild as players adjust to new roles. That is really tough at any point in a season, especially now in the fight for the three seed and beyond.

Tom: The Nuggets’ chances for the third seed were very good before and are now only moderately good. The Nuggets currently have the advantage, but the race is tight, and one extra loss could put the team in position to face tougher matchups in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Charlie: Yes. The Nuggets are already locked in a tight race with hardly any margin for error. They are spread dangerously thin without two key starters and face a schedule equal in difficulty to Memphis and LAC, both of whom are entering their stretch runs under much better circumstances. Achieving home court is the most crucial element to the Nuggets’ chances of advancing in the postseason.

Joel: No. Three seed, no. They’ll likely keep it. The Nuggets have more home than road games remaining, and are guaranteed to clinch third even if they lose one game. Just one loss each for the Grizzlies and Clippers makes keeping the No. 3 quite probable, and since they play each other they can’t both win out. Playoff success, possibly, but if they start strong with home court advantage and the bench guys step up, anything can happen.

3. What types of numbers do you see Wilson Chandler putting up with starter minutes?

Kalen: I’m really hoping Chandler takes this opportunity to shine. He’s been relegated behind Gallo his whole career. Now is his chance to prove just how good he can be. If he stays healthy, I see Karl riding him hard the rest of the year. If he could average something like 17 points and six boards with his typical Grade A defense, that would be more than enough to make up for Gallo’s loss in production.

Matt: Right now per-36 minutes, Chandler is averaging 17.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game so he is more than capable of performing well for the Nuggets. While I assume we won’t see as much of Chandler at the four or getting quite as many shots as he did off the bench, I think he can perform somewhere just below those numbers. I will say 14 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist per game from here on out.

Tom: When Chandler gets starting minutes, he can be expected to produce around 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. He has a tendency to shoot and pass better when he’s on the court for extended minutes as well.

Charlie: There’s no reason Chandler can’t maintain his averages and continue his solid season provided the Nuggets manage his minutes accordingly. He’s dealt with a complicated recovery from hip surgery and a recently separated shoulder to boot. Chandler in a starting role is an easy adjustment but I’m not sure he can be counted on to fulfill the same long stretches of play Gallo routinely did. Fatigue has bothered Chandler before and the Nuggets need to be weary of it.

Joel: The best of his career. From 2008-09 to the first half of 2010-11, Chandler started in over 80% of the games he played for the Knicks. During that time he averaged 15.2 pts, 5.5 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk and 0.8 stl in 34.4 minutes. So the baseline of what he’s capable of is solid to begin with, but now it comes with improved efficiecy, as he’s shooting 3-pointers better and getting to the line more often than he ever has.

4. Which deep bench player (Fournier, Hamilton, Stone, Randolph, Q. Miller, Mozgov, etc.) should George Karl utilize most?

Kalen: I think it should be a combination of Fournier and Hamilton. As I said above, the Nuggets will miss Gallo’s 3-point shooting more than anything. As good as Fournier has played recently, Hamilton is still perhaps the best long-distance shooter on the team. The Nuggets will need to spread the floor in the playoffs and Hamilton gives them the best opportunity to do so.

Matt: Honestly, none of the above. One of the biggest changes come playoff time is that rotations shorten and the Nuggets still have an eight-man rotation that should get the majority of the run in the postseason. For the rest of the season I see no harm in using Hamilton, but once the pressure ratchets way up it’s not fair to ask him or Fournier to provide quality minutes after not playing much all season.

Tom: I’d like to see a combination of Fournier and Hamilton pick up the slack. Both can spread the floor adequately. Hamilton should be used in weaker rebounding lineups, while Fournier should be used in lineups with less playmaking.

Charlie: There are two that have stood out and proven themselves capable of reliable spot minutes. Randolph should see any available front court minutes and Fournier looks like the best fit when guard depth is needed. As the playoffs approach it’s much more important Denver’s current rotation players step up and get healthy because the time for a bench guy to come in and prove himself has pretty much come and gone.

Joel: Fournier, who overnight made a case for an expanded role after Lawson went down. He’s a rookie in name only; the polish and poise he displays is that of the pro he was in France. He brings specific skills Denver may miss from Gallo: driving, getting to the line, floor-spreading range, very good defense. And his fearlessness is exactly what the Nuggets will need when they hit the big stage.

5. How will the Nuggets approach the 2013 offseason?

Kalen: This changes everything. I didn’t think it was a given that Ujiri would try and move Chandler in the off-season; now it’s hard to imagine him even exploring the idea. I also thought, even as good as Brewer has been this season, that the Nuggets wouldn’t move heaven and earth to try and re-sign him. Now, I can’t see how they’d let him go. This injury likely puts major roster transactions on delay for an entire year.

Matt: It makes bringing Iguodala back imperative. I think the Nuggets should have brought Iguodala back even before the Gallo injury, but now it’s about as big a must-do as possible. Without Iggy next season the Nuggets would be down their two best defenders and playmakers outside of Lawson. It would also keep the versatility to stay big or go small that the Nuggets like. What was a should-do situation just became a must-do.

Tom: I didn’t expect the Nuggets to make any major moves this offseason, and I still don’t. Most of the rotation will return. It’s possible Brewer will walk and the Nuggets will pursue a better shooter like Kyle Korver as a replacement. There might be a little bit of tinkering with the end of the roster, maybe involving Mozgov and a pick. The major action this offseason will be with team doctors and trainers, working on getting the whole team healthy and having guys in game shape for the start of next season.

Charlie: It’s business as usual for Masai Ujiri and Josh Kroenke. The first order of business remains securing Masai’s future as GM, the draft and then free agency. Gallo’s injury is awful but not nearly serious enough for Denver to reconsider any offseason goals. Long-term personnel decisions should be made strictly on a long-term basis, and this changes nothing in regards to that.

Joel: The short, simple answer: No differently than if Gallo hadn’t been injured. They will attempt to re-sign Iguodala if, as he’s suggested, he opts out. Most likely Brewer as well. They’ll keep the core intact (including Gallinari), but perhaps tinker around the edges in order to bring in a shooter such as Kyle Korver. But their swingman depth alleviates the need to make panic replacement moves for Gallinari, whose injury won’t change their team building plans.

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Kalen Deremo

Kalen was born in Durango, CO, in 1988 and graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2013 with a degree in journalism. He's now an itinerant hoping to travel as much as possible before eventually succumbing to the "real world." Aside from writing Kalen likes movies, music, spicy food and the great outdoors. Edward Abbey is his current idol.

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  • trank

    the amazing thing is when figuring it in is how much more fun these guys are going to have as a nugget playing free form as opposed to some jerk coach giving them every little jerk move.

    but it’s millions of dollars and they have to figure that out.

    fuck the dollars. go all the way. there’s NO team can beat the nugs in a 7 game series if they play that free form team ball of defense and attack.

    opposing defense is mostly programmed- all nugs have to do is forget the programming – and that’s where pierre excels.

  • googergieger

    It is somewhat like the Spurs in that the team’s “system” will overcome any one player, but this makes us very match up dependent now. It hurts our chances with The Spurs and it absolutely kills our chances with OKC. We used to have Gallo and Chandler to throw at Durant and Iguodala and Brewer to throw at Westbrook. Then mix and match accordingly. Not to mention in general Gallo might be the best guy in the league to check Durant. He’s as big, he’s stronger, and he moves his feet really well. Next year is going to be weird for a few reasons I reckon. When Gallo comes back do you make him the sixth man or move Chandler back to the bench? And how will Chandler react if he comes off the bench again? Or if Gallo bulks up some do you move Faried to the bench?

    • Scott

      Either way he’ll come off the bench once he’s healthy and get limited minutes if GK is smart and doesn’t rush him back in. I also feel like no matter how anyone plays, Manimal is a lock for the starting job because he’s such a crowd favorite and people would be angry if he isn’t starting and Karl knows that. He said that last year once Nene was healthy and he felt obligated to still start Kenneth. He and Brewer are our only true energy guys and it gives us a HUGE advantage when we have manimal starting with that energy and losing no energy Corey coming off the bench with that same fire as well.

  • Ackdog

    Great work guys!
    1. The free throw line is where they will miss Gallo the most
    2. In jeopardy no but it is certainly harder
    3. In this offense I see Chandler getting close to 20pts 6/7rebs 2assts and 1blk per game. The dude is a starter and I think until this injury Masai was only keeping him around as a trade chip
    4. Randolph should log around 15-20 minutes at 4/5 relief along with McGee, Miller, Brewer that’s your 8-9 man rotation.
    5. One would guess that Gallo is gone for next year as well. If that is the case Korver is a must! Find a way to get rid of Miller and get Korver and let #94 back up the point

    • Joseph

      Gallo should not be gone next season. An ACL tear is a 9 month recovery at most. He’ll at least be back for the second half of the season.

      • Ackdog

        Fair point. Another way to say it would be that worse case Gallo could miss most of next season.

        • Dave

          Metta World Peace is playing tonight 12 days after a surgery expected to take 6 months recovery…extrapolate that to gallo and he could be ready come finals time

          • Will

            That’s not how injuries work.

  • JetLife82

    Offseason to do list:

    #1 – Re-sign Iggy.
    #2 – Re-sign Brewer
    #3 – Sign and trade Mozgov for a cheap bench player under 1 mil and/or a draft pick (otherwise waive him and sign a cheap FA). This is to clear cap space for steps #1 & 2 and also because he’s shit.
    #4 – Flip a coin for J Stone. Heads we re-sign him, tails he walks. If the coin lands on its edge we keep him just in case..

    Lastly, if we have any roster spots left I would like to see the Nuggets go after either DeAndre Liggins (Thunder; another versatile defender off the bench) or Tornike Shengelia (Nets; a talented Euro player who could be a very good option at the 3 or 4 spot with a little more NBA experience).

    • ENK

      free toko

    • DH

      Offseason to do list:

      #1 – Re-sign Masai
      #2 – Re-sign Iggy
      #3 – Re-sign Brewer

  • Jeff

    So can someone explain to me what happens salary wise when a player misses the season or most of the season? I’m not very certain on how money is allotted when a player is injured.

    • JetLife82

      Pretty sure they get paid their normal contract unless its not fully guaranteed. In Gallo’s case I think he’ll still be paid and his salary will still count against the cap.

      • Jeff

        That’s kind of a bummer. In that case shouldn’t there be more of a push for a guy like D Rose to come back if he’s healthy, simply for contractual reasons?

    • PlainsNugFan

      Denver will have to pay him, but if he’s out for the entire season, Denver receives a 50% disabled player cap exception to sign another player.

      • mike

        chances are highly unlikely he misses the entire season. If you go off of Ricky Rubio injury time and when he returned you are looking a January/February return.

    • Will

      NBA contracts are also insured, so Gallo will get paid but it will be by an insurance company, not the team. Very rarely are contracts uninsured, and that’s usually in the case of a huge injury risk like Amare Stoudemire

  • heykyleinsf

    thank you guys.. great stuff to ponder..

    my take…
    1. After last night?? We scored the most points of the season?
    We still will get Lawson back!! Nobody even mentions that?
    2. The schedule is easy for us.. Just the Spurs then Dallas,
    The Bucks, Suns and … Portland I think.. ends with Suns..
    anyway.. rest of the group have a lot harder road..
    3 seed looks good as well as just win two more out of five,
    we have an all time franchise best record ever.
    3. Chandler has a history of streakiness.. I see a few nights
    here and there of off games.. but overall.. he’s playing
    some freaky awesome BB.. He looks confident. I am
    guess 16-22 on any given night with outliers both ways.
    4. It would be totally freaking crazy to not play Fournier at
    this point.. we are getting Ty back.. but it’s been a while..
    it may be a couple weeks yet until he feels it. Fournier
    is in there now indefinitely, just like Faried broke through
    and never looked back. Randolph would depend on McGee..
    I think GK is getting better and better at reading these guys
    and less and less shy about pulling them if they are off
    on any given night.. but with playoffs.. Unfortunately..
    Stone, Hamilton and the rest will be looking at next year.
    5. The offseason starts with Iggy.. That’s the first priority..
    but they let him go if he wants too much. I hope it doesn’t
    amount to that. Kyle Korver would make a hell of a lot of
    sense for this team regardless. I agree with you Joel.

  • CJP32

    Losing Gallo this late in the season was a huge blow – however, we have 3 guys that are capable of keeping Denver afloat – Iggy, Chandler and Brewer.

    Had we lost Ty for the year, then I would be more concerned, but it appears he may be ready for the Playoffs after all.

    Iggy MUST look to score more now. When his shot is falling, it opens up so much. As we saw vs Houston, he hit 3 of his first 4 FGs which allowed him to then distribute to his teammates with 14 assists.

    No one is expecting Brewer to score 20 every night, but I actually think he could score 16-20 on most nights. He’s taking better shots, he’s getting to the FT line and he’s knocking down jumpers.

    Chandler is a force and he can pound inside and knock down the open three. He can rebound the ball and he’s a great defender.

    If we can get 4-6 more points from each of these 3 guys per game, then we will be ok. Sure Gallo did a bit of everything, but Im confident that the other 3 guys can do much more.

    Off -Season – re-sign Brewer and Iggy. Trade Andre Miller and sign a younger/quicker PG, or let Evan play more at this position.

    McGee – Im not totally 100% sold. He needs a solid Playoff run to really make me want him here. Over the course of the season, I haven’t been blown away by him over a stretch of 5-10 games. He is to up and down for me.

    JHam I think needs to be traded, he wont get PT here if Brewer stays.

  • NugzNazty

    I’m beginning to think addition by subtraction from Galo’s injury. Chandler and Fournier have been unstoppable.

    • Nathan

      It’s only been one game!

  • Evan

    Resigning Brewer at a much cheaper price is more important than Igoudala IMO

    • heykyleinsf

      I’m inclined to agree.. just because of the numbers we’re talking.. Iggy may be looking upwards of $20M, Brewer no where near

      • dynamo.joe

        $20M per year? Not even Iggy’s mom is spouting that kind of non-sense.

        • Nathan

          He’s getting paid 13.53 million USD (2012) this year; he’s 29 (on the back end of his prime). He is planning to opt out of his contract for more long term stability. I think the Nuggets should offer him something along the lines of a 6 year, 11 million per year deal, 66 million total. Iggy gets his long term stability with a nice contract on a contending team during the rest of his prime and the Nuggets can probably trade his contract to another team if things don’t work out. I might even offer him more- they certainly shouldn’t let him walk- at the very least they can pull a Nene and give him a slightly bad contract and immediately trade him.

          • Will

            lol you can’t give 6 year contracts in the NBA. I’d expect something more like 4 yrs 45mil on the low end 55mil on the high end

        • heykyleinsf

          he is walking away from $16M on the table.

  • http://yahoo.com prospector

    JHAM and STONE need to stay… EVAN gets extended minutes and GUESS WHAT??? He can play… Give JHAM an extended look and he will shine… He can rebound, and block shots…. MILLER, MOZZY, and BREWER need to go (DUE TO MONEY FOR IGGY)…… SAY NO TO SMALL.. (my new KARL catch phase)

    • http://espn herpderpnuggets

      You on drugs? Brewer has played out of his mind this season. Need to get him back if we can. Preferably for a cheap price.

      • Ckwizard

        Herpderpnuggets your view of reality is skewed and it is you that must be smokin something that clouds your view of reality, but it is the mile high city and some stuff is voted legal simply because people want to be able to escape reality…

        You are right in one aspect in that Brewer has played out of his mind this season… Lets start there and figure out what that means for him and the Nuggets…

        1st does Brewer deserve more money? I think yes but is he better or has more value to the Nuggets than Ty, Igoudala, Gallo, Kosta, Faried, McGee, or Chandler? I don’t think so and the Nuggets should pay him accordingly but wait is he even that much more valuable than Miller or Fournier? Maybe but not that much. So on the Nuggets he should get compensated as maybe the 8th to 10th most valuable player.

        Brewer deserves to be paid like a top seven and on some teams even starting small forward money but on the Nuggets he defiantly does not deserve that kind of money.

        But here is the kicker with the Brewer lovers out there I will join you if Brewer is as good as you all so adamently argue if and only if He proves it consistantly in the Playoffs which haven’t happened yet!!! Brewer can push this team into the Finals and if it is his play that does so then he ABSOLUTLY must stay. But if the Nuggets falter and Brewer is not able to be consistant than as the 8th most valuable player on a team with Players that have potential to be even better than Brewer ie ( Fournier and Hamilton ) it would be stupid yes stupid to keep a player on your team who deserves better money and has players behind him WHO COULD BE BETTER!

        Oh wait I forgot some people believe that the Nuggets should settle for “just being mediocre” and that “we should count our lucky stars to be in the p,ay offs every year”

        Brewer , Miller have a awesome opportunity in front of them and I hope as a fan that they deliver for the team I love to cheer for but come on Prospecter hits it on the head when identifying the weak links in the Nuggets rotation… Problem is that those links are actually strong but just not as strong as the other links.

        Oh and I will end this rant with LOSING IGOUDALA AND KEEPING BREWER would essentially mean the Nuggets lose their BEST player and keep their 8th best player, I hope Ujiri doesn’t operate in that basketball universe and so far he has proven he doesn’t. NBA is a business where the Goal is to win a championship is it not?

        • mike

          why would anyone assume the choice is brewer OR Iguodala? the ONLY way that happens is if Iguodala takes a FULL max contract to resign (4-5 years starting at 15+) Otherwise Brewer is likely to get a mid level exception offer over 3-4 years. That’s about 1.5 million above where he is at now which is unlikely to be the difference in their decision as they won’t be up against the luxury tax unless they make another trade that adds more to their salary structure. It makes sense to bring him back unless someone offers him more than that. 3 years 10-12 is optimal, 3-15 is fine.

          • Ryan

            My question is: what if some team offers him around $7M per year, then what do you do?

        • http://yahoo.com prospector

          Thanks CKwizard for your reply and you’re breakdown.. Brewer has played good in spurts, but there is only so much money to go around… IGGY is my number one priority… I mean the guy can get double figure assists.. Time for him to be our number 2 point guard along with stone and evan.. I just hope MASAI feels the same way.

        • Nathan

          I think Brewer fits this team perfectly- he’s an instant energy off the bench guy, he’s a pest on defense, he is a streaky shooter but when he has it going he is like a poor man’s JR Smith, he has a team first mentality- I think he’s more important to this team than Miller certainly, but also more than pretty much every bench guy. Maybe Chandler is more important due to his versatility, but he’s also missed a lot of time due to injury- you never know when the injury bug is gonna strike again.

          He’s played well for Denver in his time here. He is still young- while I think he has come close to peaking he could still improve some, and I bet he stays at this level for another 5+ years. I think they should pay the man. While I do think Iggy is the most important resign in the off-season, Brewer should be another high priority.

          Miller has become expendable. While I think he has been a great Nugget over the years, he is certainly past his prime. The Nuggets have 2 young pointguards to take the reigns, and they should try to send Miller to a contender.

          Mozgov seems expendable as well because unless there is another major injury, he won’t be seeing any playing time.

  • DH

    1. Thank you, Matt. Defense is where we will miss Gallo the most, IMO. We will also miss his spacing the floor in the half-court offense, his FT shooting, and his clutch shooting. But overall, offensively, we will find a way to score enough points.

    On defense, most people are arguing that Chandler is at least an equal defender to Gallo. But they are missing the point regarding the flexibility that Gallo provides, especially when Chandler and Gallo are used together. As you mentioned, it will become most evident if we face OKC or even Miami (hey, it could happen). Gallo can guard Durant or LeBron better than most. And even if he were not assigned to either, he would be there for the inevitable switch.

    2. The race for the 3rd seed has been, and will continue to be, very tight. With little room for error, it would be best to have all hands on deck. We can lose 1 game and still be guaranteed the 3 seed. If we lose 2, it’s easy to see a scenario in which the Clips win out and grab the 3 – with their toughest test by far being the showdown with the Grizz. Memphis could also win out, but it will be tougher for them.

    My playoff expectations before the Ty and Gallo injuries were that we had a good chance of making the WCF and a small chance of making the Finals. Now I expect to win the first round rather easily with the 3 seed, or in a close series with the 4 or 5 seed. Then we have a small chance of making the WCF. (By the way, part of my thinking is that Ty might only be at 80%-90%.)

    3. I expect Chandler to average at least 18 ppg from here on out. But replacing Gallo’s numbers will be a team effort.

    4. Before Ty comes back, Fournier will/should get the most minutes, of course. After Ty comes back, I still expect Fours to get some minutes. And Randolph will see some spot duty.

    5. Before Gallo’s injury, I expected the Nuggets to do everything they could to bring back Iggy at a reasonable salary. I also thought they would try to keep Brewer, as long as they didn’t have to overpay. That hasn’t changed. But if we lose Iggy, and especially if we lose Iggy and Brew, the difference now is that we will have to look for a relatively big-time wing, whereas before the Gallo injury, we could have looked at other roster options.

    • Thomas

      It’s a real joke that many here believed that Gallo could defend Durant or Lebron. He could, for about 5 minutes.

      For a playoff series, Gallo would be abused by them. This is not a knock on him – most any player will be abused by the 2 best players in the NBA. But the fact of the matter is that most fans here are extremely extended in their view that Gallo was a good defender. He could be good at spots, perhaps up to 10 minutes, but he is slow and tires easy.

      It’s odd that injuries push GK to “discover” new players and winning combinations – I suspect he couldn’t do it if it weren’t for injuries limiting his options. It was that way with Faried’s opportunity when Harrington went down. It’s now with Gallo out.

      As terrible as the injury is to Gallo (and I hope he has a speedy recovery), my take is that we have a more efficient and reliable scorer in Chandler, and a better defender (for 36 minutes). In the playoffs Gallo would have a hard time putting his head down and driving to the hole trying to draw contact and fouls called – which he wouldn’t get. Chandler is a better finisher at the rim, not to mention that he is the better shooter.

      With the emergence of Fournier, we could limit Miller’s minutes to 15-20 and become a better defensive unit in the process. Miller isolation plays in the playoffs won’t work, the interior will be clogged. It’s a shame that GK will stick to his failed playoff strategies (or lack thereof) and rely on Miller for 27 minutes a game, of which 10-12 will be alongside Ty. That surely won’t work in the playoffs.

      • DH

        Of course “most any player will be abused by the 2 best players in the NBA”. Relative to most, Gallo does a terrific job on Durant. His height alone makes it more difficult for KD to just shoot over him at will. And he does a great job staying in front of most wings, despite your subjective view that he’s “slow”. As for the part about Gallo tiring easily (10 minutes, really?) someone said the same thing about Chandler. And I don’t know where either of you are getting this from.

        To be clear, though, I like the concept of switching up defenders on the other team’s best player – giving that player different looks throughout the game and minimizing the chance of foul trouble – which is what Karl usually does. But Gallo spends the most time on KD. And that has been a winning strategy so far. Durant gets his, but we don’t have to double nearly as much as many other teams do.

        Also, let’s say you’re right and GK has Chandler on Durant in a late-game situation. OKC runs a screen for Durant, with Iggy on the other side of the floor on Westbrook. Who do you want switching onto Durant? Brewer? Faried? Miller? I’ll take Gallo (if he were healthy). This goes right back to my wanting both Gallo and Chandler in the game in that type of scenario.

        And finally, your comment that “most fans here are extremely extended in their view that Gallo was a good defender” seems bizarre to me. The reason I was glad to hear Matt’s viewpoint on the subject is because I think almost everyone is concentrating on his offense and overlooking his defense.

        • Thomas

          I don’t think that we will contain Durant, regardless of who is on him.

          I think that a late game GK line-up with Gallo and Chandler would mean that we play small, with Miller in. I don’t think that would have worked in the playoffs.

          Beating a team like OKC in a long playoff series where they have home court will require that we score inside and have the rebounding edge. Small ball won’t do. We need KK and Faried in there to have a chance.

          Regardless if we agree or not on Gallo, you probably agree that our only chance against OKC is if Lawson is healthly and plays at his full potential for an entire series. I think we can beat the Spurs without Ty being 100%.

          • DH

            Nah, we don’t have to go small. We can use the starting lineup, only with Chandler replacing Faried (either Gallo or Chandler could play the “4” defensively). We could also replace Koufos with McGee – or not. If it comes down to one do-or-die defensive possession, we could replace Ty with Brewer.

            Regarding your last paragraph, yes, we completely agree.

      • googergieger


      • Sky

        I couldnt agree more!!!!

        Almost wondering what we could get if we traded Gallo? save up cap room to sign every one else???

  • Z

    this is Chandler’s chance to prove what he’s worth in Denver

  • Paul

    In the playoffs, this team’s strength is versatility and going to the hot hand. Faried’s role will be reduced as he hasn’t been as strong and he’s too undisciplined as a defender. I can see him off the bench providing a spark. Iggy and Chandler have to play big D. I’d like to see more of Fournier–I can see him taking Miller’s role next year. Miller’s importance in the playoffs goes up–you’ll see less fast break opportunities and he’s the only one that run’s the half court very well. McGee needs to come in and play the opposing big guys tough. Chandler and Brewer have to provide some offense.

    • Thomas

      Team will go as far as Ty and Faried take them. If Faried continues his erratic play and/or GK limits his minutes – we have zero chance of advancing to WCF. If he dominates the boards, watch out.

      Miller will be the playoff Miller of always – one great games, two stinkers. His half court game of creating for himself simply does not work in the playoffs – evidenced by his playoff futility record and stats.

  • 69Durango

    Why get rid of Miller? Maybe only if we can get a younger, more athletic SMART CONTRIBUTOR. Otherwise keep him. GK trusts him and he plays well with everybody. JJ REDICK will be a free agent, GET HIM. Trade Mosgov and J Ham for a first rounder if we can get it. Obviously, resign Masai, Iggy if he doesn’t break the bank and Corey. Fournier is a keeper and I think Randolph will get their. McGee is developing and GK is handling him well. Remember, he has asthma which makes it hard to play more than 20 mins in a game some nights and KK and he are a great tag team. Chandler and Faried will start and Gallo will come off the bench next February. GO NUGS !!!!!!!!!

    • Ckwizard

      Why? Well there is a belief that and I should quote “Defense wins Championships.”

      So if a fans perception is one that agrees with that belief then that should answer your question.

      By arguing for keeping Miller it says that you do not believe that a) Defense wins championships or b) that no matter what; the Nuggets will not win a championship, so the “defense” argument doesn’t hold water for a team like the Nuggets.

      In any case Miller has an opportunity this post season to prove his worth and if he does and the Nuggets lose to OKC in a seven game series where ” Home Court ” plays the deciding factor then the answer to you question is this.

      Miller’s Half ass defense in a number of games this year has directly resulted in team losses and remember that Celtic game where it was painfully obvious that he would rather lose than play another overtime… Any way Miller had the ability to play better defense than he did this year and of he would have the Nuggets very well could have been the #1 seed in the western conference playoffs so why get rid of Miller well because for all the Good he brings his defense is usually a matter of poor effort and not because he is 37, and if it is because he is old well then….

    • dynamo.joe

      If you really believe that asthma prevents JaVale from playing more than 20 min/g then ship him immediately, even if you get virtually nothing in return.

      Only the very top of the nba world, LeBron, Durant, CP3 would be worth $10M if they could only play 20 minutes.

  • juan

    Gallo was probably not the best offensive player or the best defensive on the team but he was close to being top 3 on both ends. What Gallo brought more than that fact was that he’s a terrific “glue” guy just like Iggy is. It’s hard to believe but those two *2 of their top 3 players* are their best glue guys. If you watch them on both sides of the court it seems like make all the other players fit together.

  • Dubz

    While I’m most definitely in the camp that believes Chandler will play very well as our starting 3, I don’t like the comparisons to Gallo or talk of replacing him. Chandler and Gallo are very different types of players, which is largely why they play so well together on the court. Chandler brings a totally different set of skills to the court good and bad. Like a lot of people have suggested, my primary concern is with replacing Gallo’s defense. He is a good defender and his size is very useful at the 3. Chandler is definitely a better defender IMO, but my favorite lineups were with Chandler at the 4 and Gallo at the 3. This allowed the Nuggets to be small and big at the same time. Now, I’m curious to see if GK uses Chandler at the 4 where he was extremely successful and frankly changed the entire dynamics of this team. Or, if he stays at the 3 and plays Faried more minutes and uses some Randolph.
    The reason why GK wouldn’t use Chandler at the 4 is because it’s a very taxing position for Chandler as he is undersized and he could very well get hurt again. Playing him at the 3 is a safer bet for his health. I bet he still plays some at the 4 but far less than what we’re accustomed to seeing.
    I would also like to see Fournier continue his play through the playoffs. He’s brought a very interesting dynamic to the team as well and teams don’t seem to know how to guard him exactly. I think we’ll see GK tinker with the lineups in the next 5 games, and the lineups he throws out will be very telling.

    Also, I know it’s important for Ty to come back as quickly as possible, but I want no part of a 70% Ty in the regular season unless it means he will progress with time. Meaning, if more rests equals a 80-90% Ty but rusty, I’d rather take that than a warmed up 70% Ty if that makes any sense. He’s so important and it’s not like he’s missed a few months or anything. Also, Iggy’s been fantastic as our backup PG even though using him there in the long term is a complete waste of his abilities. There’s still a lot of upside here people!! Believe!!