Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Knicks 117 Hornets 111

The fourth’s times the charm, as the Knicks finally win their first game this season. New York never fell behind by 20+, as they did in each of their first three games, and pulled away in the fourth quarter outscoring New Orleans 40-30 in the final frame. The team was led by David Lee (28 points on 17 shots, with 8 rebs & 3 ast) and Larry Hughes (20 points on 13 shots). This was Hughes’ second strong game in a row, after it was thought that he might not even make the rotation.

Although his stats weren’t impressive, Danilo Gallinari contributed as well. Gallo had 9 points on 9 shots, but added 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 rebounds and a blocked shot. I’ve been trying to keep notes during the game of notable plays, and my sheet is filled with the words “Gallo”. He had the ball in his hands a lot, and was able to create for his teammates.

Boxscore: http://www.nba.com/games/20091102/NOHNYK/boxscore.html

40 comments on “Knicks 117 Hornets 111

  1. BigBlueAL

    We have Indy at home coming up on Wed, have to win that game. Then the LBJ homecoming on ESPN Fri followed by a quick trip to a Redd-less Bucks team the next day.

    Being 3-4 at the end of this week would be great and certainly achievable.

  2. jon abbey

    proud to say I called for Hughes over Jeffries after game 1, although Nate being out was obviously a factor also.

  3. Ted Nelson

    Good call, Jon.

    Anyone want to put odds on whether the Knicks end up using their cap space to max out Rudy Gay this offseason?

  4. rayhed

    oddly enough, al harrington had some big plays on d including a huge swat on cp3

    the knicks d still looked pretty porous at the end though- the communication against the pick and roll was horrible and cp3 burned them 3 times in the last minute…

  5. BigBlueAL

    Rudy Gay?? Is he worth doing so?? How about this for a comparison, who would you rather sign Gay or Joe Johnson??

  6. GAx

    Joe Johnson every time. I wouldn’t even hesitate. Just pick him up whole and run uphill as fast as I could. That could just be me, though.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Great win, too bad I was watching the Yankees lose.

    By the by, what do you folks think of Rondo’s extension? How the hell is Rajon Rondo making less money over five years than Lamarcus Aldridge?!?

    The NBA is flat out dumb sometimes.

  8. David Crockett

    The overall defensive effort was better tonight, if not always effective. Guys did a better job of staying with their man and not always looking for help.

    CP3 hit some big threes in the fourth, but you really have to give him those. I thought Hughes did a relatively decent job keeping him out of the paint. The real surprise was Okafor. Good grief, what got into that guy?

    Duhon had a decent offensive game but defensively I thought he played poorly. He seemed constantly out of position and took what I thought were some poor gambles.

    Gallo didn’t shoot well but we saw some of his overall floor game, particularly some of his passes in the first quarter–wow! He threw in a block and a couple steals (including a big one on Peja late).

    DLee hit from everywhere on the floor, including some tough shots over Okafor. Of course he gave just about all of those back on the defensive end, but it’s hard not to notice that he’s expanded his offensive game.

  9. ess-dog

    “The real surprise was Okafor. Good grief, what got into that guy?”
    Being defended by a slow short center that can’t jump maybe?
    I love Lee, but he’s killing us on defense. Chandler seemed much more efficient at the 4 though. It will be interesting to see what we do with the logjam at forward. Will Lee be traded? Chandler?
    And I really wish I was watching this team with Sessions running the point (sigh.)

  10. AY

    It’s not Sessions that pains me, it’s Jennings. Hollinger has a piece on him as the leading rookie, and his stats are great. Man, Hill had better develop . . .

    Was at the game last night. Good atmosphere in the 4th!

  11. d-mar

    Sounds strange to say after giving up 111 pts. (although CP had a bunch of 3′s at the end) but I thought our defensive effort was pretty solid. A lot of active hands and scrambling for loose balls. It’s not even close, Hughes is our best on the ball defender and he really does have to get minutes. I thought he put together a complete game on both ends. Will it last? I’m sure we’ll see a 1-8 effort in the near future, but he does give us perimeter D, which none of our other guards do, and the idea that Jeffries can cover PG’s is a joke.

    Is it just me or does Harrington shoot or drive every time he touches the ball?

    AY, I was at the game also, and I have to say it was the quietist crowd I’ve heard in 5 years. And the biggest celeb was Mario Battali.

  12. Owen

    Good to get our first win, and against a decent team too, I wonder what our points per 100 possession was last night.

    D- Mar – It’s not just you. All Harrington does is shoot.

    I am not quite as unhappy about passing on Jennings as about Lawson, because the stats weren’t really there. But his numbers look great so far and it’s very possible he will turn out to be the better pro.

    Brian – Couldn’t agree with you more about Rondo.

    Ted -Max out Rudy Gay? Please tell me that is some sort of twisted joke? You didn’t hear anything to that effect did you? That would be the end of my relationship with the Knicks. Maxing out Joe Johnson would cause nearly the same reaction. In an NBA where you can sign a Trevor Ariza for the mid-level why the hell would you ever touch Rudy Gay?

    Ariza is going to provide a real lesson in the real importance of scoring this year. The Rockets as a whole are going to be fascinating to watch, they could win 45+ games with nothing but low usage role players.

  13. Ben R

    This was the first game I was able to watch this season and I noticed a couple of things:

    First – Gallo even shooting poorly helps the entire team by really improving the spacing. The Hornets had to keep a man on him even when the ball rotated to the other side of the court, that combined with his ability to pass after the high pick and roll makes him valuable even when he has an off night, unlike Harrington and Hughes who become anchors on offense when thier shot is off.

    Second – Jeffries really hurts the entire offense by not being able to space the court. Whenever he was in there, there were always two defenders in the paint sagging off of him. He is a solid defender but not enough to make up for the imbalance he creates on offense.

    Third – Harrington seems unwilling to set a pick for a teammate. At least three times I saw him pass up giving Gallo a pick, instead rotating outside and waiting for the pass so he could have his turn with the ball. It was a startling contrast to Lee who is constantly setting picks and rolling towards the basket.

    Fourth – Hughes actually looked good and if he can maintain even a modicum of efficiency it is really important to have a true two guard on the court instead of playing someone out of position.

    Fifth – Chandler seems, much like Harrington, to decide whether or not to shoot before he even gets the ball and that in turn creats some questionable shots. I have no problem with him taking open threes but step back 20 footers are about the worst shot in basketball and he likes them quite a bit. We need to trade him while he still has value.

    Sixth – Milicic, Douglas and of course Jeffries look totally lost out there on offense. Their movement off the ball is terrible and none of them know how to use space to spread the floor. Whenever any of them were on the court the spacing instantly got worse, and when all three were out there at the same time the offense grinded to a halt and we leaned on Harrington to go 1 vs 5. Douglas is a rookie so he should improve but sending him out there with a bunch of offensive scrubs does not help him develop.

    Lastly – The defensive woes in the paint went far beyond David Lee, with Okafor scoring with ease on Lee, Jeffries, and Milicic, and West scoring with ease on Jeffries, Chandler and Harrington. I think the problem is actually as much in the defensive scheme as the individual defenders. We rotate and help so much on the perimeter our interior defenders were often giving up good position and trying to play defense while slightly out of position. Also we put all our interior defenders on an island and rarely sag to help. Okafor seemed to have all day to establish position and then do a step back 10-12 footer. We clearly have a problem and we need to rotate and double down on the interior when they are scoring like that.

    Overall I think that our team can be pretty effective offensively and should be better when Nate returns. Maybe we can sign a sharpshooter like Szczerbiak to spell Gallo for 12 minutes a game to keep the spacing while he is on the bench and stop playing Jeffries at all.

  14. Kevin McElroy

    Occurred to me while watching Gallo pick apart the Hornets D in the first half last night — I think these Nowtizki/Peja comparisons are way off. Isn’t he much more like a blend between Toni Kukoc and a taller Drazen Petrovic? In Kukoc’s best year, he had 36 min averages of 18.2 points, 5.5 boards, and 4.9 assists. In Petrovic’s best (and last, RIP) year, he had 21.2, 3.3, and 2.6 with 52% FG, 45% 3P, and 87% FT. These seem just about right…I could see something like a 22-6-5 on 50/45/85 at Gallo’s peak (if the back holds up, god willing), but not the rebounding or FTA volume that Nowitzki gets.

  15. Gorky

    In fact, all four factors:

    Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
    New Orleans 98.0 113.3 54.7% 19.8 17.9 11.2
    New York 119.4 50.0% 25.8 26.7 9.2

  16. Brian Cronin

    Kevin, I thought that most recently that it was Kukoc that most people were going to for comparisons to Gallo.

    Either way, I totally agree – Kukoc is a great comp for Gallo, only Gallo should hopefully shoot a higher percentage from the field.

  17. Kevin McElroy

    Brian,

    Maybe. I guess my opinion was colored by the 8 times last night that Breen/Clyde tried to draw a comparison between Peja and Gallo (when they were guarding each other). And every big european with a jumper gets compared to Dirk. He’s going to be (already is?) a much more complete player than Peja though, and the Dirk comps really don’t make a ton of sense to me. That’s all I’m saying.

  18. Kevin McElroy

    Brian,

    Also, wanted to bring Petrovic in on the comparison as every time i HAVE heard the Kukoc/Gallo comp, its come with the “inefficent offensive player” caveat. People forget how great Petrovic was — much more well rounded offensive player than Peja (only 2.4 3PA per game) and his TS% stuck its head up over 60% his last year. He was also big for a guard at that time (6-5) much as Gallo is big for a 3 right now. Neither is/was super quick but both have/had a natural knack for being in the right place at the right time. Drazen got better every year until he died and actually made third team all-NBA in his last year (ahead of Isiah Thomas and Reggie Miller, among others).

    So I suppose my optimistic, but not crazy, hope for Gallo is that he is Kukoc with Petrovic’s shooting touch and feel for scoring. I don’t think he’ll be “better” than Kukoc (although Kukoc fit those Bulls teams so perfectly that a one-to-one comparison will never be straightforward), but I do think he’ll put up better stats at his peak. (Please God let his back hold up).

  19. Ted Nelson

    BBA,

    I’m just thinking that if Walshtoni and Dolan strike out on LeBron, Wade, Bosh, etc., etc. they might turn to Rudy Gay and overpay to get the restricted free agent away from Memphis. That’s the thing that makes me most uncomfortable about the personnel moves like drafting Jordan Hill and not making an effort to get DeJuan Blair even after he fell so far: if Walshtoni have little use for statistical analysis and value athleticism and scoring volume above all else (as many NBA decision makers do), then they’re bound to continue screwing up. As much as I respect Donnie’s track record in Indiana and have given him the benefit of the doubt because of it, statistical analysis has advanced so much in the past several years that being an NBA front office and not using it is like being a company that refuses to use the internet… wholly inefficient and puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

    Realistically Gay is more likely in the $8-12 mill range than a max player, but the news that he’s going to be a free agent this offseason just got the pessimist in me thinking that he’ll be a Knick next season. Amare is probably Walshtoni’s back-up plan ahead of Gay, having already said that he’d like to play in NYC. I don’t know that I would max him out either, but at least he’s an insanely efficient scorer and is passable at the 5 defensively.

    I don’t know about Joe Johnson vs. Rudy Gay… If I had to sign one of them to play on my team for this season I would take Johnson, but there are a few things to consider when giving them a big long-term deal…
    1. Money: While Johnson is likely to get maxed-out, I think it would be an Isiah-style no idea what the market for a player is move to max out Gay. You might be able to get Gay for $8-9 mill per.
    2. Age: Gay is 5 years younger. Johnson is only 28, though, and it’s reasonable to think he’ll hold up and play at a high level for a 5 year contract. You could still argue that Gay is more of a long-term investment, though.
    3. Stats: Their per minute and rate scoring stats are actually quite similar (http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=gayru01&y1=2010&p2=johnsjo02&y2=2010). Johnson is a much better playmaker, while Gay rebounds more and causes more TOs defensively (blocks and steals).

    Owen,

    I heard nothing about it. Seeing that he didn’t resign just got me thinking that Walshtoni might throw unused FA dollars at an athletic high volume scorer.

    Good point about Ariza, but I’m pretty sure that someone will be willing to overpay Gay next offseason. At least in the $8 mill range, but maybe higher if someone doesn’t want Memphis to match. Perfect case study in how overrated scoring volume is.

    The Rockets are great, so well run. First of all, shows you what putting an MIT guy into an NBA front office will do for you. Second of all, Charles Barkley called the Rockets THE WORST team in the Western Conference this season… I found him very entertaining before that comment, but now I can’t even listen to the guy speak.

  20. Thomas B.

    Is there a correlation between the Knicks’ serious approach to this game and the absence of Nate Robinson? The Knicks looked like the focus was better in this game than the previous three.
    I think about what Duhon said about folks laughing and playing in the lay-up line and during warm-ups and my first thought about the culprit was:” it must be Robinson.” So Robinson gets hurt and the attitude seems to change. I wonder if there is anything to that.
    Anyway, back to the game.

    I think this win is mineral pyrite. Why? The Knicks still can’t hold a team under 100 not even the Bobcats. The interior defense is still awful. It took a 40 point fourth quarter to secure a 6 point win. The Knicks have only played against one team that could be called strong (Miami).

    So why did we win? Well, Hughes remains on an uncharacteristic hot shooting streak (eFG 68.7% compared to last year’s eFG 46.9%). The Knicks finally took more free throws(28-nine more than the Hornets) than 3 pointers (23). The Hornets looked less interested in defense than the Knicks.

    Clydeism of the night: “The Knicks have not won a game in which they trailed going into the 4th.”

    Um Clyde you were talking about a winless team. We know they havent won a game, 4th quarter lead or not. Sheesh

  21. Z

    “The Knicks have not won a game in which they trailed going into the 4th.”

    I almost posted that last night when he said it, but figured I must have heard it wrong!

  22. Thomas B.

    “I almost posted that last night when he said it, but figured I must have heard it wrong!”

    I checked the DVR twice just to be sure, and yeah he said it. I cant figure why Breen didnt call him on that. I guess he is classier than I am.

    Is Gus Johnson still doing games for the Knicks?

  23. Ted Nelson

    Kevin,

    I think a Kukoc/Petrovic hybrid is a good way to describe Gallo’s ceiling. I totally agree that a simple Kukoc or Hedo comparison is not sufficient because of scoring efficiency, and have been saying Hedo/Peja hybrid for a while. (In that case Hedo’s slashing and shot creating + Peja’s efficiency sort of = Petrovic’s scoring knack.) I have been using those two since they’re both current players. Petrovic’s scoring plus Kukoc’s playmaking and ok rebounding for a forward… Probably a HOF wing player! And I think it’s totally possible.

    The assumption behind the Dirk comparisons is that Danilo will play the 4 for D’Antoni and might even develop into a bigman in any system. I personally agree that Danilo is more of a wing player. Nowitzki is not a strong rebounder or interior defender for a bigman, but passable which can’t be said for any of the wings we’ve mentioned.
    Dirk is also the highest volume scorer of the group, able to score inside and out and really, truly be the focal point of a team’s offense. If Danilo can play in the post by adding strength (and he has some post moves, I’ve seen him post guys up), then maybe there’s something to the comparison. Danilo was a master of drawing fouls in Italy. He probably won’t reach Dirk FTAs/36 (6.4 career) since he’ll probably take more 3PAs/36 (Dirk = 3.4 career, Danilo is at 7.6 thus far).
    Throwing Dirk into the conversation just puts Danilo’s hypothetical ceiling that much higher… I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but it’s exciting for Knicks fans. Throwing Dirk in ups the rebound and scoring volume numbers plus diversifies the scoring in a way that a 6-10 Danilo should be able to.

    The Peja comparisons have picked up lately because Danilo’s been shooting so many 3s. For me it’s kind of like even if the playmaking and driving aspects of his game never translate to the NBA level he can still be a valuable player as a Peja type spot-up shooter. I agree that the rest of his game will translate, though, and we should therefore throw a Hedo or Kukoc into the conversation (assuming Danilo’s back holds up).

  24. Ted Nelson

    Thomas,

    There may be something to the Nate thing. I am not a Nate hater, and actually like his attitude (besides the whining to the refs). I do think that team chemistry is sort of a situational/relative thing, though. Perhaps on the Knicks–a team that lacks talent (esp. defensively), basketball IQ, and winning pedigree–Nate is a bad fit in the locker room. At the same time, on a veteran contender I feel like Nate may bring a Nick Swisher element to the locker room: guys already know what they have to do and have the talent to do it, so having a guy who is always smiling breaks things up and brings some positive energy to the table.
    I would also say, though, that the reports from training camp made it sound like Nate’s fire was upping the intensity in practice and that Duhon himself was feeding off it. I don’t really know who Duhon is to diagnose the team’s problems and maybe he should get his stuff together instead of blaming Nate for his poor play and apparent lack of mental preparation. I mean Duhon is a mediocre player known for partying hard and he’s trying to tell people how to act?
    Also, after the way he played the first 3 games, not having Nate on the court may have had a lot more to do with the win than not having him in warm-ups.

    NO is off to a bad start, but I still think you have to call them strong. The Knicks defense is terrible, and they’ve either got to play more of a defensive unit (which I think would be futile since their strong defenders are absolutely terrible offensively and aren’t even very good defensively) or try to outscore people. It’s completely possible to make the playoffs with a bottom 10 defense.

  25. Kevin McElroy

    The Clyde thing was pretty funny. I assumed that someone must have passed him a paper that said “Knicks: 0-3 when trailing after 3 quarters this season” and he just said the first thing that came to his mind. I also liked the resemblance between his off-white navy pinstriped suit and a Ruth-era Yankee Jersey — no way that was a coincidence last night.

  26. Brian Cronin

    Maybe. I guess my opinion was colored by the 8 times last night that Breen/Clyde tried to draw a comparison between Peja and Gallo (when they were guarding each other). And every big european with a jumper gets compared to Dirk. He’s going to be (already is?) a much more complete player than Peja though, and the Dirk comps really don’t make a ton of sense to me. That’s all I’m saying.

    Oh yeah, I totally agree with you, and I think the Drazen call is quite good, as well.

  27. Thomas B.

    Ted,

    Agreed. Nate’s attitude on a winner is that of the “keeping things loose” guy. On a bad team, it just looks like he does not care and lacks focus. And lord if he does not not stop disputing every call.

    I’m not sure NO is a strong team at least not when compared with the strong teams in the West. They have holes at the two and three. The defense is feeling the loss of a healthy Chandler. They have little depth. They do have a good PG and PF. Peja has to wake up, and Okafor can’t feast on D Lee every night (David did give as good as he got). How strong can the team be when they lose to the Knicks?

    Well this win tricked me into dropping 84 dollars on NBALP Broad Band Version. I’m such a fool for this team.

  28. Z

    I know Euros need to be compared solely to other Euros (just like every white forward in the 90s had to be compared to Larry Bird and every white guard to John Stockton), but Gallo seems to me like he could have a game similar to Rashard Lewis. They are the same size (PF height, SF skills), both shoot a lot of 3s, and were both drafted very young. We haven’t seen Gallo enough for a reasonable comparison, but my instinct tells me Gallo could have a “Rashardian” effect on a team– not Dirk-type domination, but maybe a top-level contributor on a finals team: shooting great, while doing a lot of other things well, and nothing horribly.

  29. Kevin McElroy

    I do not think the Hornets are very good. I do think Chris Paul is transcendently great. The best part about last night’s win, for me, is that they won a game without hitting threes or being able to defend the opposition’s bread and butter (the otherworldly pick and roll options presented by having Paul, Okafor, and West all on the court at once).

    The Knicks won that game on the boards, in the turnover battle, and at the free throw line. In other words, they didn’t give NO extra chances, and they capitalized on the chances they had. The Knicks will win 27 games this year because the 3 point shooting will be red hot and they will lose 27 this year because the 3 point shooting will be ice cold. The other 28 games will determine what kind of season they have. Last night was one of those 28, and they won it.

  30. Sandy

    I really, really hope Walshtoni turn to advanced stats when making decisions this offseason. Walsh seems to have a cool head and hopefully won’t bite and overpay a mediocre if things don’t go our way in free agency. (i.e. maxing out joe johnson, who i think deserves more in the 13 million range)

    I also second everything Ben R said above. Very well said. Harrington does seem to disrupt the offense with his play. This will hep us if he has a mismatch but will hurt us if he has a good defender. That is why I think he is best coming off the bench where he can face second tier talent (and hopefully have a field day).

    Also, Larry Legend will come back down to earth and prob shoot closer to his historical eFG. Will we tolerate him the. I just hope he continues playing D and steps inside to the 18 ft range when shooting.

    And I second the thoughts about Douglass, Milicic. Dudes look lost out there. Could be time, but I expect a but more from Milicic.

  31. Kevin McElroy

    Z-

    I think the Euro to Euro comps are more legitimate than the constant Bird/Stockton/Walton/Maravich comparisons for white players of those types simply because the game is taught in a fundamentally different manner in Europe. Rashard was an athletic freak with a nice jump shot when he entered the league, only in the last few years has he developed the passing side of his game and he has still never cracked 3.0 assists per game. He was also much more of a slasher in the first few years of his career than either he or Gallo is now (check the meteoric rise in his 3PA/36 Min: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/lewisra02.html)

    So Lewis came into the league with a ridiculous combination of size, athleticism, and shooting touch and worked hard at refining his game along the way. Gallo enters the league with a skill set that is all the more honed because of his European upbringing. Whether he builds on that enough to become the player Lewis has made himself remains to be seen, but I think thats why you see so many Euro-Euro comps.

  32. Thomas B.

    “every white guard to John Stockton”

    I don’t think anyone, anywhere EVER compared Jason Williams to John Stockton.

  33. steveoh

    The Charles Oakley style of power forwards don’t exist much nowadays and won’t in the future. Look at Dirk. Look at Michael Beasley. Look at Kevin Garnett. They’re all big guys (or, in Beasley’s case, big enough), athletic and multi-dimensional who can stretch defenses and rebound.

    I’m thinking that’s where Gallinari’s gonna fit in. That’s where his future’s gonna lie, especially in D’Antoni’s system. He’ll look great next to a Rudy Gay, who can shoot but is much more explosive.

    Or next to LeBron.

  34. Kevin McElroy

    Steveoh-

    Maybe so, but the three guys you just mentioned could all push Gallo around and would kill him on the glass.

  35. ess-dog

    I’ve thought recently the key to a title has been two 7 footers on the post – one with great skills. Look at the Lakers and Spurs. The Celtics didn’t quite have that height but had great skill and were very physical. The Pistons had Sheed and freak of nature Ben Wallace. What you give up in inches you have to make up in toughness. Right now, we don’t have height or toughness in the post. They are looking for this in Cleveland, but maybe the toughness and skill is too much in decline with Shaq and Z?
    Perhaps that was the rationale behind drafting Hill, although he’s only 6’9 1/2″ and doesn’t appear to have the intensity of a Wallace in his prime. Maybe he and Gallo could eventually make a good skill/toughness post team, like a Sheed and Wallace. I think Gallo could eventually have the strength to be a Dirk or Sheed pf… is he even 21 yet? He is close to 7 feet, has shown flashes in the post and is at least rebounding at a good level for a small forward this year.
    As for Douglas, I hope he can make the jump this year. Does anyone have his senior comparison stats next to Lawson? I would love to see how they stack up- I’m guessing not well in our favor.

  36. Ted Nelson

    Thomas–I agree that NO is not strong compared to the strongest teams, but they’re not as bad as they’ve played so far and I would definitely call that an upset for the Knicks. NO was a playoff team last season. They may have lost more than they realize in Tyson Chandler and Rasual Butler, but probably not so much that they’re not a top 9 team in the West.
    Their defense has been horrid so far this season (26th) after finishing top 10 last season. I wouldn’t expect Chandler for Okafor to have THAT huge an impact over the whole season. If it does we’ll have to reevaluate how we view both players.
    Besides Okafor’s defense and general team defense, NO needs its youngsters to step up. Julian Wright has gone into hibernation after a strong rookie season in 07-08. He could be an X-factor on whether they’re fighting for the playoffs or fighting for homecourt. Darren Collison should get a chance to play over Bobby Brown at some point, and I like Collison as a back-up point.
    They have questions on the wing, but Peterson, Wright, and especially Posey can’t stay as cold as they’ve been to start the season. West has also played terribly so far. The only one of those guys who doesn’t have a track record that says he’ll bounce back is Wright.

    Z & Kevin,

    Interesting comparison with Rashard Lewis. I agree with Kevin’s take, though.
    Z may be right about Danilo’s impact being more Lewis-like than Dirk-like. However, Kukoc was a big supporting contributor on an absolutely dominant team in his prime (remember that he only got to the NBA at 25, so he was 31 by the time he left Chicago… Lewis is only 29 now), so I think including him in the comparison takes care of that. Of course, there’s the Petrovic side of the comparison too, which could make Danilo a bigger contributor than Kukoc (although I would also point out that Kukoc was an absolutely brilliant passer for a forward, something that Danilo is not yet but could become). I think a Dirk-like impact on his team (basically meaning dominant high volume scorer) is certainly within Danilo’s potential upside, but there’s a lot of room for error for him trying to get there.

    Steveoh,

    I think you’re right that Oakley types aren’t as successful in the NBA today. That doesn’t mean that Danilo can play the 4, however. As Kevin says, he needs to continue hitting the weights hard and work on his rebounding before he can legitimately play inside. Of course, that’s not going to stop D’Antoni from playing him at the 4.

  37. slovene knick

    Gallo…i would go for Kukoc comparison(same hight, weight, speed, looks like he can handle the pressure and the ball) Drazen was a two guard creative shooter+going in and one two teardrop(or glass), 6foot5 no defense, no passing, no rebounding….Hedo…his efficiency is below average but he can install some offense, Peja…good spot shooting but choker in big games , Dirk…hope Gallo gets there.

    BTW – 7W – 10L by the end of November ?
    4 games where opp. plays 2ND straigt(2xIND, CLE, ORL) 2-2
    6 “normal” games(3vs/3@)(UTA,ATL, GSW, NJN,LAL,DEN)3-3
    2 we play 2nd straight(BOS vs, SAC@) 1-1
    1 Both playing 2nd straight(MIL@) 0-1

Comments are closed.