Joe Mazzulla Issues Statement on Potential Danilo Gallinari Celtics Return

Danilo Gallinari, Boston Celtics

Getty Danilo Gallinari, Boston Celtics

Danilo Gallinari is yet to play for the Boston Celtics after joining the team during the off-season due to an ACL injury he sustained when playing for Italy at the Fiba Eurobasket tournament.

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

“I saw him jogging on the treadmill and I was like, ‘I haven’t seen you run much faster than that in a game.’ So I thought he was playing tonight,” Mazzula told Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

Gallinari, 34, has participated in 728 regular-season games throughout his career, averaging 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per contest while shooting 42.8% from the field and 38.2% from three-point range.

However, despite Gallinari’s undoubted talent, it remains unlikely we will see him suit up for the Celtics this season, as it makes more sense to allow him the full year to recover and get back up to game speed before re-joining the team next season as part of their primary rotation.

Danilo Gallinari Aiming For Post-Season Return

During a recent interview with Around The Game, Gallinari discussed his goal of returning to Boston’s rotation in time for the post-season as he bids to help the team win it’s first championship since 2008.

“Yes, it’s very difficult because we’re also calculating the protocols that have been in place in the NBA in recent years in recovery times, but that’s definitely the goal,” Gallinari said.

Unfortunately for Gallinari, there is no guarantee that Joe Mazzulla would provide him with significant playing time after spending the season recovering and missing out on valuable bonding time with his teammates, along with not knowing the offensive or defensive schematics. Still, should Gallinari return and be given a role to play, his ability to knock down shots at a consistently high clip would help give Boston another dimension to their already potent offense.

Jayson Tatum Could Require Surgery In The Off-Season

Jayson Tatum has been dealing with a wrist injury since the Celtics run to the NBA Finals last season, as he explained to Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks this past summer. However, it would appear that the same injury is still causing the St. Louis native problems, leading some to believe that he may need surgery once the current season reaches its conclusion.

When speaking to CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning before Boston’s January 23 loss to the Orlando Magic, Tatum noted that he isn’t sure if he will undergo surgery to fix his problematic wrist in the near future.

“Maybe…I don’t want to say yes, and I don’t want to say no. It’s something we’ve got to look at when the season’s over,” Tatum said.

Tatum has been exceptional for the Celtics this season, providing them with 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 are set to face the Miami Heat on January 24 as they look to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic.

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