NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 17: Danilo Gallinari #8 of the New York Knicks celebrates knocking the ball out of the hands of LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on December 17 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this Photograph user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
I didn't see Friday's game against the Kings, but I can read a box score, and it looks like the Knicks could have used a little extra
offensive firepower Cock. Thankfully, barring some unforeseen pain or mishap, Danilo Gallinari will be ready to return from his sprained left knee for Monday's Matinee Luther King against the Suns. From Ebenezer Samuel (excellent name!) of the Daily News:
Gallinari, who suffered a mild sprain of his left knee early this month, is expected to practice Sunday with the team in Greenburgh. As long as the forward feels no extra soreness Monday, he'll return to the lineup.
"He should be ready (for Monday)," coach Mike D'Antoni said on Friday.
As Samuel notes, that game against Phoenix won't be an easy one. The Suns have won two straight and will likely be particularly motivated to avenge the thrashing they received in Amar'e Stoudemire's return to Phoenix. Meanwhile, the last time the Knicks had a truly hideous loss against a bad team-- that overtime meltdown against the Cavs in December-- they got back on track with wins against the Thunder and Bulls. To do the same against Phoenix, Gallo's services will be much appreciated.
There had been murmurs (mostly here, not in the real world) of letting Gallo come off the bench in his return, but we may have been overreacting to Ronny Turiaf's career night against the Blazers. Since then, the Knicks' first unit has been seriously lacking for offense. Bill Walker and Shawne Williams were the sole reason the team competed in Utah and no Knick starter shot even close to 50% against the Kings. A week ago, I would've supported bringing Gallo off the bench, but for the time being, D'Antoni needs somebody in his first group to make some basketball shots. The coach intends to start his baby boy, and I think that's the right move. Feel free to disagree amicably in the comments.