What Happened Last Night: Danilo Gallinari Tore His ACL, Thunder Handle The Spurs
Happy and sad times in basketball. Also: Tim Pernetti has been fired, but you’ll hear more about that from us later on.
Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL, which is sad.
It’s sad for two reasons: first, that Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL. People tearing ACLs is always a bad thing. Second, that we’ll see no more of those Italian hand motions, unless one of the other Nuggets decides to harness his inner Italiano.
Denver did end up winning the game 95-94 over the Mavericks, and are still a contender due to their strong depth. But Gallo was one of their most versatile players and their second leading scorer, so losing him will be a blow. As for who will have to step up: we’ll probably see a little more of Andre Iguodala’s offense, and undoubtedly some more action for Corey Brewer. But as this team has slowly morphed into the Ty Lawson show, Gallo’s injury has only shifted that transition into hyperdrive – he’s one of the team’s last off-the-dribble creators standing.
Oklahoma City staved off a San Antonio comeback.
The San Antonio Spurs are so pesky. Oklahoma City dominated the first half of the game, leading by almost 20 points and stretching their dominance into the third quarter. The Spurs, meanwhile, were offensively stagnant and simply could not handle the Thunder in transition. Then, slowly, they chipped away. And chipped. And chipped. Until, wait, what? They were down three points, four minutes left in the game. How that happened, well we’re not really sure.
But that’s when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant put their offensive tunnel vision into high gear and blew San Antonio out of the water. The lead ballooned to eight points, and eventually landed at 100-88 as time expired. For San Antonio, not the worst thing: they lost on the road and without Manu Ginobili. And, in Gregg Popovich’s tenure, it’s been clear that health heading into the playoffs is more important than seeding – but for now, OKC has the home court edge as the West’s No. 1 seed.