Which month will Gallo be back?
That's a looming, long-term question for the Nuggets, as Danilo Gallinari prepares for left knee surgery, likely next week. Speaking by phone, Gallinari said Monday his doctor told him recovery from surgery could take at least four months. He might be able to return in November, the first month of the 2013-14 season.
Gallinari, Denver's No. 2 scorer, tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Thursday against Dallas, finishing his season.
"It's emotional, not a lot of good thoughts, because everything was going very well, not just for me but also for the team," he said. "I thought we could have done — and still can do — something special. I thought we were having a special year."
Denver (53-24) is third in the Western Conference heading into its next game, Wednesday against San Antonio. In the fight for homecourt advantage, Denver is one game ahead of Memphis and two ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Nuggets also have the best home record in basketball: 35-3.
With Gallo out, Wilson Chandler will play more minutes, moving into the starting lineup at small forward. He can fill up the stat sheet, too, but coach George Karl pointed out Monday: "To be honest with you, they're quite different talents. Gallo is more of a shooter and playmaker. Wilson is more of a dynamic athlete. It will be a challenge to see how the team meshes."