It was announced this past weekend that Celtics’ Forward Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL and will most likely be out for the season. Gallinari became injured two weeks ago after playing for his home country.
The former Hawks’ player became a Celtic this summer along with Malcolm Brodgon. Both men were supposed to help Boston get another run at the NBA Finals. Now that he will be out—here’s what this means for the C’s.
More pressure on Grant Williams
The biggest reason that Gallinari was brought to Boston was for inside scoring. With a tremendous backcourt in Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Derrick White etc…—most of the points come from behind the arch or in the hands of a guard. Gallinari was supposed to be the guy to score on big guys down on the block, shoot the three, and spread the floor. Now, Grant Williams will have a bigger role.
Towards the end of the regular season, Williams became one of the best corner shooters in the game. Last season, Williams averaged 7.8 points a night and shot 41% from deep. That needs to come up this upcoming season. Hopefully he worked on his game enough to take the next step.
More pressure on the backcourt for scoring
Tatum was exhausted by the time the C’s reached the finals. And with much of the scoring coming from him, Brown, and Smart—Gallinari’s injury puts them back in the same place. However, the Celtics have Brogdon who can average close to 20 points a night if given enough looks. Plus, if Smart and Brown can become better shooters and ball handlers—they may not need a big guy that can consistently score.
Middle of the pack in eastern conference
Hate to be the person to break it to some but honestly: the eastern conference has gotten very competitive. With Donavon Mitchell now heading to Cleveland, KD and Kyrie staying in Brooklyn, Giannis and Middleton back together, Plus with Philly and Chicago on the rise—the C’s are in the middle of the pack. Sure, they will be the defending conference champs and deserve their respect. But let’s be honest—things have just gotten a lot tougher to climb that mountain again.
More strain on the already frail big guys
Al Horford is now 36-years-old and will going into his 16th year in the league. Only averaging 29 minutes a night with his scoring average depleting each season. Then there’s Robert Williams. Not sure if ‘Time Lord’ will still be his high flying self this season after the MCL tear, but it will be interesting to see. Yes, Williams was extremely productive in the Celtics’ playoff run. But with Gallinari out, someone is going to have to step up on the interior defense.