Derrick Rose is no longer the only player in the league that can be seen as the comeback kid, as Gallinari is now playing like he’s back in 2012. Though he probably won’t be voted into the All-Star by the fans, Gallo is definitely having a career year and wouldn’t be misplaced in the contest.
No one would’ve expected this when the Clippers acquired the Italian in the summer of 2017. He had quite an expensive contract left, about $65 million for three years, and the Clippers hoped that he could be valuable for the team. Unfortunately, he was true to his nickname, the man of glass, and was yet again plagued by injuries. Just to name some of the injuries that plagued him: a torn ACL, a glute injury, a broken hand, ankle problems, foot sprains, a thumb injury, a bone bruise, groin injury, vertigo, right thigh soreness, to yet another ankle injury. Gallo ended up playing only 21 games in his first season with the Clippers, which meant that he got paid about $1 million for every game. On top of that, he had some of the lowest stats in his entire career.
This season, that all changed. As of now, the Italian has only missed one game due to sickness, not an injury, and he has looked better than ever on the court. That’s quite good for him, as his career average of total games played is about 60% (481 out of 738). Now, Gallinari has shown he can lead the Clippers with Tobias Harris, and now, on the halfway point they’re doing good job.
In their first full season together, Harris and Gallinari have proven that their duo can be a successful one, though that didn’t seem to be the case last year. Gallinari and Harris only played 10 games together last year, so not a lot could be said about their time on the court together, but a couple of things were clear. The duo lacked chemistry on the court, couldn’t find each other, were in each other’s way, and failed to take advantage of their strong points. So, the frontcourt duo was still quite a gamble for this season. But, the duo wasn’t about to let that happen this year, so as soon as Gallinari got healthy, he started practicing with Harris. And that proved to be exactly what they needed. With a little help from the Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers, the duo is no longer in each other’s way, but has found a way to play together.
Now that Gallinari is not bother by injuries, and has found the right chemistry with Harris, he’s averaging a career high in almost every category. One thing that stands out is his three-point percentage, at 45,3%. His percentage is currently even higher than Steph Curry’s, though Gallinari also shoots about 6 threes a game. As long as there are no injuries thwarting him this year, the Italian might end up having a complete career year, playing more than 70 games for the third time ever and making the third playoff appearance of his career.