With Danilo Gallinari ending his season prematurely, likely to pursue back surgery, the critics are resurfacing. Donnie Walsh pays them no mind.
"I'm convinced that we took the right guy," Walsh said. "I'm optimistic that this can be taken care of and he can get back to 100%. And I think that's the way Danilo is thinking."
I'm with Walsh on this one. The back problems have all but ruined Gallo's rookie year, but there are certain things you just can't anticipate- like your star rookie getting bulldozed by Robert Traylor in summer league play. Between the stretches of absence, though, Danilo's managed to showcase his range, mobility, and intelligence in just 28 appearances of an average 15 minutes. He shot 45% from the field, 44% from downtown and missed only one free throw in 27 attempts. With those numbers, size-defying handles and an ability to finish are icing on the cake. On the other end, Gallo's far from a stopper, but he showed glimpses of the grit and determination to overcome his thin frame (something that can be worked on in the offseason). And let's not forget that this was all done on a back so sore that Danilo couldn't sit on the bench between court appearances. Put shortly, if these early back woes can be overcome this summer, I'm convinced that Danilo Gallinari can prove himself worthy of a number 6 selection. He's already got the offensive skillset and the balls to assert his will (though it never made news, don't forget the three-point clutchness that nearly sparked an improbable Knick comeback against Orlando). Now it's just a matter of staying healthy and filling in the cracks. I say that as someone who was furious on draft night. Danilo Gallinari is the truth.
So, that's my side of it, but you know I'm biased. I'm curious what everybody else has to say. Are you sold on Gallinari, or do you spend sleepless hours imagining Eric Gordon in orange and blue? Are you having second thoughts? Cause I sure ain't. Let yourself be heard in the comments, and try not to be persuaded by this.