Player of the Week: Danilo Gallinari
Athleticism is always the concern when talking about Danilos future potential. Lets see how hes looking right now.
Is Gallinari an athletic player? Will he be able to make the transition to the NBA? These are not easy questions to answer. To start with, this very skilled Italian forward shows different levels of athleticism depending on the situation he faces. Particularly, he doesnt seem to be very reactive. It takes him a while to get in motion. This is related to the fact that his vertical leap from a standstill position looks rather poor. Also concerning this flaw is his limited activity on court: hes not this kind of hyper-energetic guy who is all over the court and always ends up with loose balls. Thats why he probably isnt a great rebounder despite being a very smart player with an excellent physical set.
On the other side of the spectrum we have his surprisingly good lateral quickness. Actually Gallinari is one of the few guys you can see consistently defending any player on court from the point guard to the power forward position, which is really impressive. His length and defensive quickness are a very tough match-up for any perimeter player, while he enjoys enough size and strength to challenge power forwards. Particularly his defensive flashes are sometimes spectacular, immediately flashing in front of the dribbler who tries to take advantage of a screen. Its also important to note that his leaping ability dramatically improves when hes running, so he can finish above the rim after a drive.
Then we have how Gallinari makes the most out of that controversial athleticism. Its particularly remarkable how he can beat his match-ups off the dribble on a regular basis. He might not be very reactive, but his first step is very nice, his strides long and difficult to keep up with for his defender, his footwork excellent to slalom towards the basket, and his body control effective while using his width and strength to keep his opponents away from the ball.
Its fascinating how much Gallinari reminds of the great Dejan Bodiroga (length and perimeter skills, poise, basketball IQ, ability to beat their opponents despite their questionable quickness, low-post game), which by the way doesnt help much in terms solving any doubt about his NBA potential. Still you have to believe that a major basketball talent usually breaks through. And its not like this kid doesnt enjoy some terrific tools to help his cause.
State of the Prospect: Whos Hot
Milos Teodosic delivered back-to-back excellent performances to lead his FMP team to the victory in both games celebrated the past week in the Serbian SuperLeague. He had 18 points, 8 assists and 2 steals against Mega Ishrana, and continued with 18 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals in the very important on-the-road win against Crvena Zvezda.
Rudy Fernández finished the ACB regular season in spectacular fashion, leading DKV Joventut to victory over Real Madrid with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. He was incredibly active, very secure from the long-range distances, and showed superb decision making while dishing out the ball. His final rush in the league has been rather impressive, averaging 20.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists in the last 7 games. Particularly, hes now perfectly combining his scoring power and his passing ability. In the ACB campaign, Rudy has ranked third both in scoring (16.3 ppg) and efficiency, as well as second in steals per game (2.2). For a 22 year-old player in the strongest domestic league in Europe, this is pretty amazing.
State of the Prospect: Whos Not
Marko Tomas closed a very average season with a very poor game against DKV Joventut. He only scored 1 point in 10 minutes, committing 4 turnovers. In the last 14 games of the regular season, he has only averaged 4.2 points. Very poor production from the former leading scorer of the Adriatic League. His chances of landing a spot in the draft are rather small at this point. Its not only about his mediocre production, but the feeling of limited potential he transmits. The best things we can say about him is that he has worked quite well on the defensive end, but in terms of offensive power, he needs to either be open to shoot the ball or enjoy plenty of space to slash in order to be effective. After all, hes still a slow player with the ball in his hands.
I dont feel like a media star. I dont feel that way.
I play basketball and go out to the court to enjoy; the age I have doesnt matter. Either people care or not about my birth date, I dont care. I still will be enjoying the game, which is what makes me a better player. The day I stop enjoying, it will be the day Ill give up basketball. I never feel under pressure.
My horizon is right now the ACB playoffs. I dont look beyond. In the summer I will be, I guess, with the Junior National Team. After the summer, Ill come back again with DKV Joventut. Right now, the future is too far away.
The key to getting so many steals is the intuition, but even more the eagerness and ambition. Its instinctive, but the ambition is what makes the difference.
As I grow old I want to study and play basketball. When I finish high school I will think about a degree to study.
At first I used to look carefully at who was my rival, especially against important players. Now Ive already lost the fear.
I think its a successful measure not to attend to the media, because I cant handle everything: to attend to the media, my studies, practices, playing the games
I have to improve everything. If there was an aspect of my game that I didnt need to improve, then I would be the best player in the league. Theres always something to learn because when you think you know everything, then you dont improve anymore.
I dont even play in the National Team, so go figure (how far is) the NBA.
By the way, according to the El Mundo Deportivo, Ricky already has an NBA agent, Dan Fegan.