Last night we all experienced “Air Bargnani,” which didn’t end up working so well. As you surely are aware by now, Bargnani epically failed to throw down over a couple of 76ers defenders.
It turns out, however, that there was more to that missed dunk than just humiliation for Bargnani. The fall looked horrible, and everyone was surprised he was able to walk away from the incident. As it turns out, though, he isn’t so okay. According to the Knicks, Bargnani suffered a torn ligament in his elbow on the play, and will be out indefinitely.
An MRI to A.Bargnani’s l. elbow revealed a torn ligament.The injury occurred last night vs 76ers at 2:40 in 3rd qtr. He is out indefinitely.
— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) January 23, 2014
Bargnani has had a rough year, notably making the lowlight reels on a few occasions for his odd defensive decisions. Stats-wise, he’s been putting up about the same numbers he has for his whole career, but everything is magnified in New York.
While injuries are never something to be celebrated, this one might turn out to be helpful for the Knicks. As John Schumann of NBA.com points out, the Knicks are faring MUCH better with Bargnani off the court this season.
Knicks efficiency w/ Melo and/or Bargnani on the floor. Woody’s job just got easier. pic.twitter.com/EBzLDkTkce
— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) January 23, 2014
Whether or not Bargnani returns this season doesn’t really make a difference. They’re still fully capable of making the playoffs, given how awful the Eastern Conference has been, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they don’t get there. And even if they do, a quick exit is likely.
Bargnani’s injury is a microcosm of the Knicks season; an ambitious effort to achieve something that was never really possible given the talent available and the obstacles to overcome.