Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Joe Mazzulla makes statement on potential Danilo Gallinari Celtics return

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Danilo Gallinari is yet to play for the Boston Celtics after joining the team in the offseason after sustaining an ACL injury while representing Italy at the Fiba Eurobasket tournament.

On January 23, Joe Mazzulla was asked about interim head coach a possible return for Gallinari ahead of the end of the current season following multiple videos showing the veteran striker ramping up his rehabilitation program.

“I saw him jogging on the treadmill and I thought, ‘I’ve never seen you run that much faster in a game.’ So I thought he was going to play tonight,” Mazzula told The Athletic’s Jared Weiss.

The 34-year-old Gallinari has appeared in 728 regular-season games over the course of his career, averaging 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest while recording 42.8% from the field and 38.2 % shot from three-point range.

Despite Gallinari’s undoubted talent, however, it’s unlikely we’ll see him for the Celtics this season as it makes more sense to give him the full year to recover and get back up to game speed before he returns next Season rejoins the team as part of their primary rotation.

During a recent interview with Around The Game, Gallinari spoke about his goal of returning to the Boston rotation in time for the postseason as he seeks to help the team win its first championship since 2008.

“Yeah, it’s very difficult because we’re also calculating the logs that have been in recovery periods in the NBA for the past few years, but that’s definitely the goal,” Gallinari said.

Unfortunately for Gallinari, there’s no guarantee Joe Mazzulla would buy him significant playing time after spending the season recovering and spending quality time with his teammates, along with being ignorant of offensive or defensive schemes. However, should Gallinari return and play a role, his ability to put down shots with a consistently high clip would help add another dimension to Boston’s already strong offense.

Jayson Tatum has been struggling with a wrist injury since the Celtics reached the NBA Finals last season, he explained to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks last summer. However, it appears the same injury is still troubling the St. Louis native, leading some to believe he may need surgery once the current season concludes.

Speaking with CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning ahead of Boston’s loss to the Orlando Magic on Jan. 23, Tatum noted that he wasn’t sure if he’d have surgery to fix his troubled wrist in the near future.

“Maybe…I don’t want to say yes, and I don’t want to say no. We’ll have to look at that when the season is over.” said Tatum.

Tatum has been exceptional for the Celtics this season, delivering 31 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game while shooting 46.8% from the field and 35.2% from deep.

The Celtics will face the Miami Heat on January 24 in a rebound from their loss to the Orlando Magic.

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