All we know Danilo Gallinari for is his outside shooting. We never really knew Gallo when it came to trick plays like this.
In the Nuggets’ game against the Grizzlies on Friday night, Gallinari attempted to drive in. Marreese Speights did a good job of cutting him off. The shot clock was winding down quickly and Gallinari had no open man to pass to as each Memphis player did a good job guarding each Nugget player.
So Gallo had to think quick.
At first, Gallinari tried to throw Speights off with a series of quick fakes. None worked. However, he did see that the lane was open down the middle. He couldn’t dribble anymore, though, so he couldn’t exactly just drive in. He had nobody to pass it to, either. But he could pass the ball off something.
Gallinari then threw the ball off the glass. Then he got in front of Speights and, with nobody around him, caught the ball in the air and threw down a rebound dunk. Impressive play, Gallo. Very crafty indeed.
Usually, we would see that kind of play in the All-Star game. Tracy McGrady popularized it in 2002. Then a few years later, Vince Carter would do it. In the last few years, Kobe Bryant has made that play a signature play of his when he needed a bailout.
Danilo Gallinari needed a bailout play himself and what a bailout it was. Sure, it wasn’t as fancy as a Tracy McGrady or a Vince Carter dunk but it worked just as effectively. And he did it during a crucial fourth quarter and a course of a regular season game.
The Nuggets would go on to beat the Grizzlies, 99-94. And considering how close it was, that Gallinari play was definitely big. He only had 14 points in the game but those two points were probably one of the biggest in the game.