The long-range prowess of Danilo Gallinari is well-documented as the veteran sharpshooter enters his next chapter with the Boston Celtics.
Gallinari, after all, has shot the long ball at a 38% clip in his career with three of the past four seasons resulting in 40% or better. It’s inarguably the first thing NBA fans think of when they consider Gallinari’s 14 NBA seasons.
Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens knows that’s the obvious, too. However, Stevens also is looking forward to an underrated aspect of Gallinari’s game.
“Well, I just think the obvious is the spacing and the shooting. And he’s a hard guy to contest even when you’re almost there because he’s so big. He can make shots with a contest. He can get a little step back with a contest,” Stevens told NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg in the network’s “Celtics Talk” podcast.
“But the other thing that, you know, isn’t the most popular thing in the NBA these days is sometimes you just need to throw it on the block to a guy. Or throw it to the elbow to a guy,” Stevens said. “And, if he has an advantage, it forces the defense to react. Some people will live with those shots to an extent. But being able to throw it to him on the block as a scorer and a passer, I think is a good thing.”
Gallinari has shot 42.8% from the field in his career with a 46.7% clip from inside the 3-point line. Gallinari’s two-point numbers jump to 48% from inside the arc over the last six seasons. He’s clearly effective inside the 3-point line.
Stevens also expressed how Gallinari’s 6-foot-10, 233-pound size, and the unique skillset that follows, could present better matchups for others on the floor.
“One of the things about starting Smart this year and starting big around Jaylen and Jayson is it forced twos and threes to guard them a lot. And that was kind of one of the reasons why we wanted to do that,” Stevens said. “Well, now with Gallo you’ve got another guy with great size, where for big or small, he can take advantage of his strengths.”
Gallinari is just as excited to have those core pieces like Brown, Tatum and Smart around him.
“Of course, when you look at the team, one of the reasons why I came here is them,” Gallinari said during his introductory press conference.
That underrated skillset Stevens acknowledged now will help provide much-needed depth for the Celtics, a team fresh off an NBA Finals appearance.