With the NBA releasing the schedule for the upcoming season, LA Clippers fans can begin to look forward to what should be a promising year at Staples Center.
Much of that hope will derive from a Clippers squad that is finally healthy. LA was ravaged by injuries during the 2017-18 season, and the franchise still managed to compile a 42-40 record in a difficult Western Conference. Danilo Gallinari emerged as one of the most difficult players to replace.
Gallinari managed to play in just 21 games last season, but the versatile forward is finally healthy. He recently took home MVP honors at the NBA’s Africa Game, which featured a who’s-who of NBA stars. Gallinari looked spry, and he said as much before and after the game.
His presence will greatly enhance the Clippers’ playoff chances in a loaded West. His pairing with Tobias Harris will make for one of the more intriguing storylines with the team. Both forwards are interchangeable at the small and power forward positions, meaning defenses will often be forced into mismatches.
Gallinari boasts a number of dangerous qualities, including sharpshooting from the perimeter and a great knack for getting to the free-throw line. Both qualities are highly valued in today’s pace-and-space NBA.
The 30-year-old forward still averaged 15.3 PPG last season while battling through injuries. Now healthy, he should be one of the team’s go-to scorers.
"Last season, we didn't have a chance to show everybody what we can do because everybody was injured,” Gallinari told ESPN. “I think we played only three games together out of the 82, which is an amazing stat. But we were almost able to make the playoffs, so with a healthy team I think we're going to have a lot of fun."
Clippers fans can see Gallinari and the rest of the team in the regular season home opener, which will take place Oct. 21 against the Houston Rockets. Tickets for the game are available here.
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