Gallinari: "I'm in the perfect place"

While Amare Stoudemire represents the present of the Knicks, Danilo Gallinari represents the future of the franchise. He is forecasted to have a big year and become a 20-point scorer, like his elder counterpart Dirk Nowitzki did in his third season in the league. But in order to do that, Gallinari needs to work on his game inside the three-point line (Yahoo! Eurosport UK). "I have to post under the basket," Gallinari said. "Attacking from the inside is perhaps what is costing me more." Before the season, Gallinari was mentioned in trade talks for Carmelo Anthony, and bagel games like last night against the Wizards -- going 0-for-7 from the field -- will cost him even more. While the Knicks have been reluctant to bring his name up in negotiations, they know he could be the deal breaker for Anthony. Just don't tell that to Gallinari himself. He's "very happy" as a Knick, even though he realizes his name has been floating out there in trade rumors. "I don't want to go anywhere else," Gallinari said. "I love New York, I love playing on this team, I love the coach and his system and the people around here. I'm in the perfect place and I want to be here for a long time. I don't want to leave."

To give Gallinari the benefit of the doubt, it's still only the preseason and D'Antoni has been giving well-balanced minutes to his 6 through 11 guys. Once the regular season tips-off, Gallinari will be given the minutes to prove himself, especially if he can bring more versatility to his midrange and slashing game. That would help the Knicks in three main ways: 1) giving them another inside-outside threat besides Stoudemire, who can shoot and drive; 2) giving them more of a consistency in the scoring column because even if Gallinari's shot is off, he can find other ways to put the ball in the basket; and 3) giving them a dangerous option in the fourth quarter because Gallinari will be able to get to the line off of a post-up or penetration, where Nowitzki excels. As of now, the Knicks haven't had much of a presence at the foul line, or on the boards for that matter, and those are two critical areas that will give them an advantage in every game and prepare them well for a competitive playoff series. If Gallinari can develop a knack for playing closer to the basket, he can help address those two deficiencies.

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