Amar’e Stoudemire likes what he sees in Danilo Gallinari — so much so that he paid him maybe the ultimate compliment for a European big man.
“He reminds me of Dirk [Nowitzki] a lot…He’s at that same level as Dirk at the same age if not better.”
Stoudemire’s point wasn’t that Gallo and Dirk have the same game, it’s both are similarly versatile and use the jump shot to set up game.
Stoudemire is right.
Through two seasons and at age 22 Gallinari has some Nowitzki in him, although it was big jumps in his third and fourth year that set Nowitzki apart, Gallinari has to prove he can make that leap.
In his second NBA season, Gallinari averaged 15 points per game, Nowitizki 17.5. Gallinari shot 42.3 percent overall, 38 percent from three and had a true shooting percentage of .575. Nowitzki shot 46 percent, 38 percent and 56.4. Gallinari had a PER of 14.8, Nowitzki 17.5.
The difference in the third year was Nowitzki jumping to 21.8 points per game, shooting 47.4 percent, 38.7 percent from three, true shooting percentage of .601 and a PER of 22.8. Then in his fourth season every one of those numbers improved again.
Gallinari’s ceiling is not that high. Still, if he can improve across the board this season and become a reliable scoring option for the Knicks outside of Stoudemire the Knicks takes another step toward respectability. Basketball Prospectus said he could become what Rashard Lewis was in Seattle or Peja Stojakovic was with the Kings. The Knicks would take that in a heartbeat.