Fuhry jumped on this in the Fanposts, but I just had to bring it up myself. If you're a Newday subscriber, you might want to read this latest Alan Hahn blog post on Danilo Gallinari in private. Here's a clipping. Basketboners abound:
"That's what I really want; every game to play defense against the best," he said. "That's what I asked Mike and that's what I'm trying to do."
Gallo has recently matched up against LeBron James, Joe Johnson and, on Wednesday, Manu Ginobili. And while he had a strong fourth quarter scoring wise -- eight of his 14 points, including a wild back-to-the-basket, over-his-head flip -- Gallinari was grumbling about Ginobili's 28 points. I told him those minutes in crunch time against a team like the Spurs mean a lot for his development. He didn't want to hear it.
"It means a lot, especially means a lot when Ginobili is kicking my ---," he grumbled.
We talked about what he tried to do against Ginobili and one thing was clear, Gallo did his homework. He laid out all of Ginobili's tendencies and the best way to play him. He talked about what he tried to do throughout the game and the amazing ability that Manu has to counter attack.
Gallo's shot has been off for much of the last month or two, but the caveat has always been "but he's really playing like he gives a shit on defense, eh?" We've mentioned his help defense a few times, but his willingness to match up with quicker players is equally impressive. It's this kind of stuff that suggests he might one day be a star, and not a one-dimensional gunner like the critics say. He's got a tremendous competitive drive, a do-everything mentality, and as we've said before, giant, jangling rooster balls. Hahn's not given to hyperbole, but he gets to outright gushing by the end of that blog post.
Gallinari mentions that he expects to be assigned to OJ Mayo or Rudy Gay tonight. Keep an eye on him out there.