The Nuggets held Gallinari for the third time in six preseason games, with all coming on account of rest. Juan Hernangomez and Wilson Chandler ended up logging most of the action at small forward, but it's expected that Gallinari will return to the lineup Tuesday against the Thunder.
Gallinari poured in 19 points (7-8 FG, 4-4 3Pt, 1-2 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and a steal over 26 minutes in Friday's 129-128 preseason overtime loss to the Warriors.
Gallinari was razor-sharp from the field Friday, which has been the case through all three preseason games he's played in to date. The 28-year-old was able to log 53 starts last season before succumbing to an ankle sprain, managing a career-high 19.5 points per contest. If the exhibition slate is any indication, Gallinari may be primed for an even better season in 2016-17, as he's averaged 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists over the aforementioned trio of preseason tilts, while already getting to the charity stripe on 24 occasions.
Gallinari has been ruled out of Wednesday's preseason matchup with the Timberwolves, Kyle Ratke of Timberwolves.com reports.
Coach Michael Malone is opting to rest the bulk of his regular starters, as he wants to get a better look at some of the guys on the bottom half of the roster. Gallinari is expected to open the season as one of the Nuggets' main offensive threats after averaging a career-high 19.5 points a season ago.
Gallinari registered 19 points (3-5 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 11-12 FT), three assists and three rebounds across 28 minutes in Sunday's 124-115 preseason loss to the Lakers.
Gallinari made a more concerted effort to attack the basket and draw fouls last season, enabling him to hit a career-high scoring average while getting to the charity stripe 8.2 times per game. He's carried over that success to the preseason, already attempting 22 free throws and hitting 20 of them. Gallinari's huge contributions from the free-throw line combined with his high-teens scoring and three-point production make him a worthy selection in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.
A sprained right ankle sidelined Gallinari for the final 23 games of last season to disrupt what had been a career-best campaign, but the forward is back to full health following a summer of rehab and recovery. Gallinari is locked into a starting role at small forward, but it's expected that he'll see a decline this season from the 34.7 minutes per game he averaged in his 53 appearances in 2015-16. In addition to Gallinari and projected starting power forward Kenneth Faried, the
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