Despite having three NBA players, Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets, Marco Belinelli of the New Orleans Hornets, and Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors, the Italian national team has stumbled to a 1-4 record thus far in the EuroBasket 2011 Championships in Lithuania. Gallinari has been having an up-and-down ride and Zorgon of Welcome to Loud City provides us with some scouting as he has been in Lithuania covering the whole thing!
I've been curious as to how our fellow Nuggets have been performing overseas. With some digging on EuroBasket 2011.com and the help of Zorgon, I've been able to get a good handle on Gallo's game thus far with his Italian team. The good news, he has had some shining moments, but the bad news ... inconsistency is still plaguing the talented forward.
Let's take a look at Gallo's stats from the first five games Italy has played:
|Final Score||Minutes||FG shooting||FT shooting||Points||Rebounds|
|Totals (Avg)||1-4||31 mpg||25-66 (37.8%)||21-25 (84%)||15.2 ppg||6.4 rpg|
In the above games, Gallo only led his team in scoring one time, that was against Germany where he scored 17 points. In the other four games Bargnani has led the team in scoring - putting up 22 points vs. Serbia, 36 points vs. Latvia, 22 points vs. France, and 26 points vs. Israel. Sort of makes me wonder why Gallo is not putting up those kind of numbers against teams. I think if you polled most NBA general managers they'd rather have Gallo on their team than Bargnani, but our Nugget is being outperformed by his Raptor counterpart.
And like I mentioned above, Zorgon of WTLC has been attending games and emailed me his scouting report on Gallo from the Sept. 4, 2011 game against France. Here is what Zorgon had to say about Gallo from that game:
Zorgon of WTLC on Gallo, from the Italy vs. France game:
(Danilo) Gallinari had a bit of a disappointing game for Italy. He was regularly upstaged by (Marco) Bellinelli, and was almost nowhere to be seen in the first half (Italy had a 48-41 lead over France heading into the second half). He was covered by the crafty Boris Diaw (of the Charlotte Bobcats), and was often fooled into taking bad jumpers.
Gallo's skills awoke in the second half. Italy was desperately looking for scoring inside, because their jump shooting was hot-and-cold. Gallinari provided the right medicine, driving for some good scores in the third quarter when Italy hit a bit of a cold streak. He showed a good ability to score over men who were equal to or smaller than his size, and rarely failed when he went down the lane. But his best moments came when he got a three point play in the paint late in the game, putting his team up by two, and a couple of plays later when he grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a nice score in the paint, putting Italy up by one.
Unfortunately, his skill set seemed somewhat limited. He could drive and hit threes, but there wasn't a whole lot of creative ball-handling or involvement in plays. He was a clear third option to Bellinelli and Bargnani until the very end of the game, and he was far too prone to going hot-and-cold. Of course, he wasn't a defensive liability like Bargnani, and he even had a nice steal for a free bucket. But he didn't do anything too amazing in that sense.
You can catch highlights from that Italy vs. France game by clicking right here.
Zorgon's breakdown of Gallo doesn't sound too much different from what you could say about him in an NBA game. His shooting is streaky, he's good - but not great - when driving to the basket, and his defensive effort is there, but again nothing to write home about.
Gallo just turned 23 years-old in August and he still has a lot of time left to grow and mature. Sometimes it's tough to try to outshine your teammates, especially on national teams as kid's have a lot of respect for the guys that have been there ahead of them. There almost seems to be a pecking order based on age on some of these international teams ... something that you see a bit in the NBA as rookies try to find their legs in the NBA (in most cases).
It sounds like Gallo is still trying to find his game and we can find some solace in the fact that he's just 23 years old and that he will get better with age ... like a fine Italian wine?
I'd like to thank Zorgon for taking the time to scout Gallo for us and sending it along to you folks here at Denver Stiffs. He's already got tickets for Greece vs. Slovenia on Sept. 8th, 2011 and will be sending along his thoughts on Jeff Morton's favorite big man - Kosta Koufos. I'll get that post up and available to you all as soon as I get it.
EuroBasket 2011 ... it's FANtastic!
Nate_Timmons on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons