Yes, the Denver Nuggets have just re-signed Nene Hilario. Yes, they re-signed Arron Afflalo. Yet, it's a signing that they must make next season that will determine the fate of this version of your favorite NBA basketball team.
Before we get started with today's article, let me show you something. Just let this video soak in while you prepare yourself for what I'm about to say. No, it's not pretty - and quite frankly it's not very good. In fact, this may be one of the worst representations of European music since ABBA. Yet, much like a car crash, you fear to watch but you cannot turn away.
I give you Party Start, Party Stop
THE BIG SHOTS - "PARTY START-PARTY STOP" (via thebigshotsadmin)
Yes, that man doing what can only be described as the bicycle is the Denver Nuggets' and Italy's own Danilo Gallinari. Gallo, you can call him. Watch him dance his way into your hearts my fellow Stiffs, because if the Nuggets have their way - the future of this franchise will rest on his considerably large shoulders.
While I can debate the merits of the above song; (of which there are few) I can't debate the merits of Gallo's importance on the Nuggets future. If you read between the lines of the Nuggets recent signings of Nene and AAA, (and trading for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer) they have said "we like last year's team". This means the Nuggets will be heavily dependent on the development and upside of Gallo and Ty Lawson. Rather than tanking and trying to acquire a star through the draft (as others, as well as I, have suggested) the Nuggets firmly believe and hope that their future is already in-house.
To a certain extent they are right. In Gallo's second game with the Nuggets against the Portland Trail Blazers last February he showed his ability to take over a game (scoring 27 points by the end of the third quarter). It is also the game where he injured his toe, which hampered him for the entire remainder of the season. Before that game Gallo had lift, he had explosion, and he was quick. After that game he couldn't jump and his explosiveness was gone, so he resorted to drawing as many fouls as he could to compensate ...
(...I make da party start, I make da party stop... AHHHHHHRG...get out of my head!!)
... for his lack of lift. We didn't ever see the "true" Gallo after that point. It also must be pointed out that, while uncoordinated, Gallinari has a sneaky shooting touch and good court vision. He often is out ahead on fastbreaks and can even lead a break with his ball handling skills. He seems to have a good chemistry working with Lawson and that will be very important moving forward.
Meanwhile, let's not discount Gallo's time in Europe during the lockout. From all accounts he was ripping it up in Italy and improved with each week. Now, there are those among us who may scoff at the notion of "ripping up Europe," but Gallo gained important basketball time (so did Ty, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos and Rudy) while others were waiting things out. This will give these players a certain edge in this lockout-shortened season that others do not have.
Let's face it, the Nuggets have left themselves no other choice than to depend of the further development of these players, chief among them Gallo. A lack of "take over" players haunted the Nuggets in their playoff series against the Thunder. While the concept of team basketball is all well and good, you still need that guy who can put the team on his shoulders and carry them over the finish line ... like Atlas carrying the earth. It's this hope that the Nuggets are placing in Gallo.
While there are those who expect the same out of Ty Lawson - I remain skeptical. I need to see that will from Lawson. Too often Lawson is very passive and lays back and doesn't exploit his quickness. It's not for a lack of talent, as that's definitely there. While there are some who blame coach George Karl and his rather - curious - use of the two point guard lineup (which still perplexes me and drives me to distraction) I tend to think a person who is naturally aggressive would just take over anyway. No excuses. This is as big a year for Lawson to take a leap forward as it is for Gallo too, and I'm just as curious to see what Ty does.
Although, one note for Gallo. Man, learn some new dance moves. At least do the jerk or the stanky leg or something (and yes, I know what the stanky-leg is - doesn't mean I like it). You are a big, good looking Italian guy ... supplement the swarthy accent with some killer moves in the club and you will go far ...
... what am I saying? He doesn't need advice from me. Keep doing the bicycle Gallo! Just remember remember to drop in 25 points a night between pedals!
(...I make da party start, I make the party stop...)
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78