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How and When Danilo Gallinari Got the Ball Against the Thunder

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Looking at last night's boxscore, I was perplexed (as I often am) at the fact that Danilo Gallinari scored 18 points in the first half and just five in the second half. Upon re-watching the game, I decided to take note of each of Gallo's touches. I probably missed a few, but here's what I found (plays that end in points are bolded):

FIRST QUARTER (12:00 to 3:40)

1. Gallo starts in the right corner covered by Kevin Durant. Raymond Felton dishes to Amar'e Stoudemire up top, then cuts over and sets a screen for Gallo. Gallo does a little shimmy-fake, shakes open, and catches the ball. As Durant closes out, Gallo pump fakes, lets him by, and drives diagonally with his left hand. Gallo finishes a left-handed layup plus a foul from Nenad Krstic. All other Knicks are around the three-point line.

2. Gallo starts in the left corner with Felton handling the ball up top and Amar'e on the left high post. Stoudemire sets a screen on Durant, allowing Gallo to curl around toward the rim. With Durant giving chase, Gallo receives the feed from Felton and converts an easy dunk over late-arriving help.

3. Gallo starts in the left corner. Toney Douglas penetrates along the right baseline, drawing help from Durant. Douglas kicks to Ronny Turiaf on the left elbow. Turiaf swings to Gallo, who drives past the recovering Durant and draws a foul from Thabo Sefolosha (it's a shooting foul because he heaves the ball at the rim).

4. Felton steals the ball and Gallo leaks out ahead of the pack quickly. Felton feeds him streaking to the basket and Gallo finishes on the left side of the rim in transition.

5. The Knicks push off a make. Gallo leaks out immediately and receives an outlet pass from Felton at halfcourt. He drives right past unsuspecting OKC defenders and finishes left-handed at the rim.

6. The Knicks push off a miss. In a 3-on-3 transition play, Douglas feeds to Gallo on the left elbow. Gallo misses a fadeaway three over James Harden.

SECOND QUARTER (9:36 to 5:35)

1. In a transition 3-on-4 off a steal by Landry Fields, Gallo races to the left corner. Fields penetrates, draws multiple defenders, and kicks out to an open Gallo. Gallo drains a three off the catch with Jeff Green closing out.

2. The Knicks push off a miss. In transition 4-on-5, Felton kicks to Gallo on the right elbow, and Gallo hits a step-back three (with a friendly bounce) over Russell Westbrook.

3. Gallo starts in the right corner with Stoudemire up top and Felton handling the ball on the right elbow. Felton feeds to Stoudemire up top, then sets a screen for Gallo. Gallo curls around the screen and inside with Jeff Green in pursuit. Stoudemire feeds him as he cuts into the paint. Gallo fakes left, turns back right, then turns back and misses a lefty lay-up while getting fouled by Green. 

(Gallo commits his third foul and sits with 5:35 remaining)

THIRD QUARTER (12:00 to 3:35)

1. Gallo starts in the right corner with Felton up to and Amar'e on the high post. Amar'e receives the ball and turns toward Gallo, feeding him a hand-off as Gallo curls around the perimeter toward the center. Gallo drives diagonally, draws help from Krstic, and assists Amar'e sneaking backdoor for an easy finish.

2. Gallo receives the ball up top and, with the defense pretty much set, dishes to Wilson Chandler in the right corner. Chandler misses a contested jumper.

3. Gallo starts in the right corner with the ball in Landry Fields's hands on the left elbow. Gallo receives a shitty screen from Stoudemire and cuts across the paint with Durant staying in front of him. Gallo receives the ball with his back to the basket on the left mid-post. He turns toward the middle with two defenders reaching in and misses a wild fadeaway attempt off the side rim while trying (and failing) to draw a foul call.

4. Gallo catches the ball on the right elbow early in a possession and dishes to Chandler in the right corner. Chandler misses a contested jumper.

5. Gallo sets a screen for Felton near the left corner. Felton drives baseline, draws help, and kicks to Chandler on the left elbow while Gallo cuts to the top of the perimeter. Chandler bobbles the catch before swinging to Gallo, allowing the Thunderbros to scramble and recover. Gallo misses a three while Durant closes out pretty nicely.

6. Gallo sets a series of screens on the left (weak) side. He catches the ball wide open on the left elbow, but misses a three (fading a little, for whatever reason).

7. Again on the weak side, Gallo sets a poor screen for Stoudemire and the defenders don't switch. Gallo receives the ball on the left side and drives against Durant, who is set and stays in front of him. Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha also collapse on the driving Gallo. Gallo shoots a fading airball while trying and failing to draw a foul call.

8. In 4-on-4 transition, Gallo calls for the ball wide open on the left elbow. Thabo Sefolosha closes out and Gallo swings to Felton in the left corner. Sefolosha scrambles in that direction, and Felton kicks it back to Gallo, uncovered once more at the elbow. Gallo drives uncontested diagonally toward the rim and draws a foul on a missed right-handed lay-up attempt.

(Gallo sits with 3:35 remaining)

FOURTH QUARTER (8:20 'til infinity)

1. Gallo starts in the right corner with Felton feeding Stoudemire on the right high post. Gallo cuts around the perimeter and receives a dribble hand-off from Stoudemire, who picks Durant in the process. Durant goes under the pick and Gallo drains an open elbow three.

2. Gallo steals the ball and brings it up himself while the Thunder get back in transition. He feeds to Douglas up top, then drifts to the left corner.

3. Gallo slips a screen for Felton, who misses him streaking to the rim. He then sets up in the left corner with Felton up top and Stoudemire on the left post. Gallo cuts to the elbow and catches a pass, then dumps it into Stoudemire on the block. Gallo clears out and Stoudemire misses a contested shot on the baseline.


Again, I may have missed a few, but that's basically the gist of it. In the first half, Gallinari received most of his touches in transition, off curls, or on penetration kick-outs by guards. In the second half (due in some part to improved D by the Thunder), there was much less of that. He shot 6-7 in the first half for 18 points and 1-5 in the second for just 5. He was 6-7 from the line on the night.

From Marc Berman of the Post:

D'Antoni said Felton and Amar'e Stoudemire are the Knicks' fourth-quarter "bread and butter," but admitted they must start getting Gallinari more involved late.

I tend to agree. Gallo's success rate off plays in transition, off screens, and off catches from penetrating guards was pretty excellent. We saw less of that in the second half and, as a result, saw much less production from The Cock.