The NBA's deepest team got a little thinner Thursday when the Denver Nuggets lost Danilo Gallinari to a season-ending knee injury. At 6.2 wins above replacement for the season, Gallinari has been Denver's second-most valuable player. However, the Nuggets deploy a league-high seven other players who rank in the top 150, and the beauty of a decentralized roster is that you're well-positioned to withstand the loss of any one player. That approach to team-building is about to be put to the test.
Despite the prodigious depth on coach George Karl's squad, just two groupings across the league have spent more time on the court together than the Nuggets' starting five of Gallinari, Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried and Kosta Koufos. Just eight lineups have produced a better point differential than the plus-100 put up by that quintet. So things are going to have to change, and the transition is going to have to be seamless.