In what some in the media are calling Monday Bloody Monday, last night, several NBA players went down with mild to severe injuries in one single night. Including a certain 6'10" Italian who's value to the team will be played out in front of Nuggets fans in the coming weeks.
Last night was a tough one Nuggets fans. The Nuggets were sluggish in the first half, but they seemed to have a certain confidence that they weren't going to lose the game ... that is until Danilo Gallinari went down early in the third quarter to a sprained ankle and a chip fracture in his foot. As Gallo drove the lane (the only Nugget who was bothering to do so) Gallo turned his ankle and, unluckily, Houston Rockets rookie small forward Chandler Parsons stepped on his foot at the same time. In that moment the collective shoulders of both the Nuggets team and Nuggets' fans sagged. It was a deflating moment which came on top of already missing Nene Hilario (ankle strain), Arron Afflalo (Groin), Timofey Mozgov (ankle) and Corey Brewer (father's funeral). You hate making excuses, but that may have been the straw that broke the camels' back for the Nuggets last night.
However, the Nuggets weren't alone in this. Last night Carmelo Anthony went down with a groin injury. Groin strains and hamstring injuries are generally a sign of too much play, and repetition using the same muscle. You could argue that is why AAA struggled so mightily in the back to back to back that the Nuggets just completed. Melo has already suffered from finger, wrist and elbow injuries this season.
The worst of all (career-wise) was old friend Chauncey Billups tearing his Achilles tendon last night. Worse because this is a potentially career-ending injury for the 35 year old CB1. Watching the injury in the highlights, you can see Chauncey go down, untouched, like he was shot. The injuries that happen with no contact always seem to be the worst. Makes me sad for Chauncey. Hopefully he makes a full recovery, but it's hard to see him coming back from this to continue playing.
What does this all mean? Well, we all knew that injuries would pile up with games being so close together. It's hit the Nuggets in a big way, and quite frankly they don't have many options to turn to right now. Wilson Chandler's team may go to the playoffs in China, postponing any potential signing of him untill March. Maybe the Nuggets bite the bullet and make a run at J.R. Smith? The trade Deadline is March 15th (beware the ides of March?) and until then the Nuggets will be without their best scorer and most lethal all-around talent (Gallo) for an extended period of time.
Gut check time folks. Lets see what the Nuggets are made of.
On to the Links
Short-handed Nuggets lose at home to Rockets, Danilo Gallinari injured - Benjamin Hochman, Denver Post
The beginning of the article, describing the fear on Gallo's face as he left Pepsi Center on crutches, is kind of heartbreaking. Here's to a speedy recovery Gallo
Clippers win but also suffer big loss; Chauncey Billups - Broderick Turner, LA Times
In another depressing article, secondary to the Clippers win (who cares?) Chauncey Billups goes down with an achilles tendon tear. Heal up soon CB!
Carmelo Anthony out 1 to 2 weeks with strained groin - Frank Isola, New York Daily News
In an injury that, much like AAA, can be chalked up to the compressed season, Melo will be sitting out 1 to 2 weeks nursing a strained groin. Maybe AAA should have sat out that long?
NBA Cut Day: 45 Players with Non-Guaranteed Contracts Await Fate - Scott Schroeder, SB Nation
In an important day for the NBA, players on non-guaranteed contracts can be cut today. Maybe the Nuggets will be mining this field for some 10 Day Contract help?
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78