Now that it's been confirmed that Danilo Gallinari will miss the next two to three weeks recovering from his knee sprain, let's quickly look at where the Knicks currently stand on both sides of the ball and see how the team trends during this decidedly difficult stretch against top competition.
The Knicks are currently 5th in offensive efficiency, scoring 107.9 points per 100 possessions. Gallinari plays a huge role in that even if it doesn't always appear to be the case. Why's that? His individual offensive rating, the points he produces per 100 possessions, is 123.5. To put that into perspective, here's what the other starters produce:
- Amar'e Stoudemire - 107.8
- Wilson Chandler - 115.4
- Landry Fields - 116.6
- Raymond Felton - 110.2
Gallinari's is the highest on the team and his contributions on offense will be missed considerably with the extended minutes Ronny Turiaf will see. Aside from his three point shooting and ability to spread the floor, Gallo's also second on the team in free throw attempts per 40 minutes behind Amar'e. Needless to say, Chandler and Shawne Williams will have major shoes to fill.
The Knicks are 21st in defensive efficiency, but they'll naturally get an upgrade with Turiaf in the starting lineup. Turiaf only averages about a rebound more than Gallo per 40 but he adds an extra +2.81 combined blocks and steals.
Are the Knicks still a top five offensive team in two to three weeks time without Gallo? Do they break into the middle of pack defensively with Turiaf starting? The wild card is Mike D'Antoni and who he's willing to play. You need to look no further than the last two games to understand that his rotations are highly situational. Against the Magic, D'Antoni let Williams play center for stretches against Dwight Howard while Turiaf only played six minutes. But against the Pacers, Turiaf played 28 and got crunch time minutes in Gallo's absence. This will in all likelihood depend on how the offense is clicking in any given game.
One immediate concern you must have is that according to 82games.com, the expected starting lineup of Felton-Fields-Chandler-Stoudemire-Turiaf isn't even one of D'Antoni's top twenty used lineups. Gallinari is part of the top four most frequently used lineups.