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‘My mindset is there is definitely a chance’

Boston Celtics forward Danilo Gallinari suffered a left ACL tear while playing for Italy in the FIBA World Cup qualifying game in August. The 14-year veteran was originally diagnosed with a meniscus tear, though, an MRI revealed ligament damage. This was classified as a non-contact injury.

However, the 34-year-old has made fine progress the last couple of months. Now, there’s a chance Gallinari could make his season debut in the coming months. “My mindset is that I want to play, and that I’m going to play at the end of the season,” Gallinari told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe.

Upon further review of some NBA betting sites, Danilo Gallinari and the Celtics are clear-cut favorites to win the championship. A few sportsbooks are still giving the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets favorable odds.

“I want to play in the playoffs. So that’s the mindset that helps me every day get better and motivates me even more,” added Danilo Gallinari. “My mindset is there is definitely a chance. So, when I think about the season, it’s definitely not a lost season for me.

“So, we’ll see. That’s the mindset that helps me and pushes me to get better every day. If it happens, it’s going to be great. If it doesn’t, I’m looking forward to next season.”

Celtics wing Danilo Gallinari hopes to return from ACL injury by end of season, shows signs of progression

During this past offseason, the forward signed a two-year, $13.3 million deal with the Celtics. He’s earning $6.479 million this season and has a $6,802,950 player option for the 2023-24 season. Of course, his 2023-24 player option deadline is June 29.

After surgery, an ACL injury for a person living a sedentary lifestyle requires at least three months to heal. However, most professional athletes need six to nine months to fully recover. If the Celtics return to the NBA Finals, maybe he’ll make his season debut then.

Additionally, Danilo Gallinari spent his previous two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. Last season, in 66 appearances, the wing averaged 11.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per contest. Plus, he shot 43.4% from the field and 38.1% beyond the arc.

On March 20, 2022, in the Hawks’ 117-112 loss versus the New Orleans Pelicans, the Italian baller logged a season-high 27 points in 42 minutes as a starter. He finished 11-of-21 (52.4%) shooting from the floor and knocked down three 3-pointers.

In June, Atlanta traded Gallinari and four first-round draft picks (2023, 2025–27) to the San Antonio Spurs for Jock Landale and Dejounte Murray. Landale was then dealt to the Phoenix Suns in July for cash considerations. Danilo Gallinari was waived by San Antonio four days before inking a deal with Boston.

Forty-nine games through the 2022-23 season, the Celtics have a league-best 35-14 record. They remain three games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings. While Boston is not desperate for help offensively, Gallinari would still bolster the team’s frontcourt.

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