How Will Love, Gallinari Perform?

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
4:02
PM ET
By Maurice Brooks

O.J. Mayo is clearly the main attraction at Vegas Summer League, Kevin Love, who was traded for Mayo on draft night to mixed reviews, will also be under the microscope when he makes his pro debut Monday.

Even though Love is considered less of a sure thing than Mayo -- who has performed well in his first three summer league games -- he's similar in being a "celebrity" among the recent draftees.

Everyone who saw Love average a double-double and earn All-American honors at UCLA last season knows he can play. The questions surrounding Love have more to do with his size.

The 6-foot-10 bruiser appears a little too small to play center, so he'll probably have to play power forward. Also, I've read a lot where people think the quickness of the game might be a problem.

Love's biggest asset is his technique. He may not dominate the glass tonight, but eventually he'll figure out the little tricks of the trade and I see him splitting time successfully at both the 4 and the 5.

We'll see if he can shake the "good skills but not athletic enough for the NBA" label. With all of the hopes and dreams the Timberwolves and their fans have invested in Love, this is the first chance to see what he can actually do.

Love isn't the only semi-savior for a struggling franchise who will see his first action against NBA-level competition today.

Knick fans didn't respond favorably to the selection of Danilo Gallinari at the draft in New York, although, truthfully, not a lot of people who were jeering in disapproval had ever seen him play.

But all the scouting reports have nothing but great things to say about the Italian forward. He is listed at 6-foot-9, and, at the age of 19, he is still growing.

He is fundamentally sound.

He is an above-average passer.

He jumps well, can put the ball on the floor and excels in both one-on-one and team play.

The only knocks against him are on the defensive end of the court, where they say he needs to improve.

Will he be able to stop all of the comparisons to Andrea Bargnani by playing well against a group of rookies and free agents trying to find work? Of course not.

But it would be a nice start for Gallinari, who has a high skill and IQ level, but questionable athleticism.

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