Who Benefits The Most From Harrington’s Injury?

April 1, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Denver Nuggets power forward Al Harrington (7) reacts after he made a three pointer against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. Denver Nuggets defeated the Orlando Magic 104-101. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Al Harrington has been a big part of the Denver Nuggets this year. He is fourth on the team in scoring (14.5), he is also one of the squad’s best rebounders (6.2) and a leader on and off the court, which makes him an ideal Sixth Man of The Year candidate.

However, Harrington may see a reduced role during the final few weeks of the season due to a knee sprain he suffered in Monday’s win against the Golden State Warriors. If Harrington plays, his playing time will be monitored which should open up minutes in the post for some of Denver’s younger players. Up to Wednesday’s game, Harrington hasn’t missed a game and was averaging nearly 30 minutes a game (29.6 to be exact).  This season he has shown the versatility to impact a game in a number of ways and positions. He has hit big shots at big moments and has stepped into tough defensive assignments late in games. He has played out of position at center and has provided an attitude that this Nuggets team lacks. Even if Harrington plays his minutes will be reduced and it is important for the rest of Denver’s roster to step into bigger roles.

  • Kenneth Faried: Since overtaking the starting job at power forward, Faried has surpassed expectations. He is averaging nearly 10 points a game and 7.3 boards a contest. However, since getting the starting nod Faried has only played more than 30 minutes four times. Faried has been the first big man to sub out to start games, mainly due to Harrington’s shooting and leadership on the floor. That should change if Harrington has a reduced role.
  • JaVale McGee: McGee has had some good moments and some really bad moments during his time with the Nuggets. He started a few games, before being moved to the bench where he is averaging 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds. Harrington’s injury should open up more minutes for McGee to show what he can do. He will more than likely be the first big man and will be depended on to provide Harrington’s offensive spark.
  • Danilo Gallinari: Gallinari showed very little rust on Monday, his first game back from breaking his thumb. And hopefully it won’t have any more ill affects as Gallinari will be a key to the Nuggets’ playoff run – especially with Harrington out.
  • Wilson Chandler: Chandler play has been mildly disappointing since the Nuggets signed him at the beginning of March. When he has played, he been subpar at best and lately he has battled a groin injury. While he won’t be back anytime soon, but when he is finally healthy he should take over Harrington’s minutes off the bench.

Kosta Koufos and Corey Brewer will also more than likely see more minutes, but Faried and McGee should be the biggest beneficiaries of Harrington’s injury.

Topics: Al Harrington, Corey Brewer, Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, JaVale McGee, Kenneth Faried, Kosta Koufos, Wilson Chandler

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