We interrupt March Madness to bring you some March Insanity, courtesy of the Knicks.
How else to describe the decision to have Danilo Gallinari guard Denver's Carmelo Anthony Tuesday at the Garden? Anthony already has hung 50 points on the Knicks this season - more than LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant or any other NBA player.
Here's the kicker: Not exactly known as a defender, Gallinari asked for the assignment.
"I like to play against the best because that's the only way to improve," he said Monday after practice in Greenburgh. "It's a part of learning. It's a part of trying to understand where I am and what I have to do get to that level and what they have more than me. I like the challenge."
We've been talking for a couple weeks now about the strides Danilo Gallinari has made as a defender. He forced Aaron Brooks into incredibly difficult shots (which Brooks hit, but these things happen) in the closing moments of Sunday's game, and says as much in the Lawrence article. Gallo's doing what he can to debunk his reputation as a one-dimensional player, and having the gumption to request the other team's powerhouse is an impressive step in that direction. If Danilo gets his wish, tonight's match-up should be very compelling, especially given the stark contrast between Brooks' flitting, elusive antics, and the smoother, more panthrine attack of a player like Carmelo Anthony. Particularly with Wilson Chandler sidelined, these match-ups comprise Gallinari's chance to show his potential (not to mention versatility) as a two-way player. Ultimately, things like this are why the games are still watching in late-March of a lost season.
The Knicks meet the Nuggets at 7:30 tonight in New York. Game thread to come.