Pro Training Center’s Anthony Macri opened up his coach’s notebook to Hoopsworld Thursday on what he work on with small forwards, some that are entering their fourth year in the NBA.
Two players that he used as examples were Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari and Portland Trailblazers’ Nicolas Batum. While they are two very different players, Macri did mention that neither uses their athleticism to their best ability. He also said the issue with Gallinari seems to ‘stem from perception, expectation and to some degree self-image.’
What the training center would focus on with the the soon to be 23-year-old Italian would be re-educating his defense and focusing on his rebounding. Too often Gallinari’s hands are down on defense, which has little impact on the player he is defending. They also would work with Gallinari and Batum on positioning for offensive glasses. Macri said,
Both Gallinari and Batum are athletic enough to make the play regularly, and they should be looking for at least one or two tip-ins per game. All of our finishing drills around the rim include a tip-in requirement on any missed shot, just to get the players thinking about the possibility.
The final phase would be attacking in catch and face situations. Working on a series of jabs, shot fakes and a variety of plans for attack, drawing fouls, and changing plans.
Gallinari has already shown an ability to develop many aspects of his game. Last season he was more aggressive at getting to the rim and he developed a knack for getting to the charity stripe. His biggest issue was his conditioning. He missed 20 games and dealt with nagging toe injury. His defense and rebounding definitely could both use some work too.
Gallinari averaged a career-high 15.6 points and 4.9 rebounds last season.
Can the Nuggets afford to sign Nene to a long-term contract?
No doubt the Nuggets No. 1 goal when
if the lockout is lifted is to resigning Nene.
However, the problem that they may face is how many years are they willing to offer him. Before he opted out, there were rumors that the team was offering him a three-year extension which would technically have him signed through the 2014-15 season. But, now that he is an unrestricted free agent a team like Golden State, New Jersey and Philadelphia could offer him a five-year deal. Are the Nuggets willing to give the big man a contract that would pay him up until he is 34? If so, for how much? The Nuggets still need to resign Arron Afflalo, and Wilson Chandler if they can. And depending on how much money they will demand could impact the Nuggets in the future as they try and lock up Gallinari and Ty Lawson for the long term.
One option is front-loading Nene’s contract since the team has so much cap room this year and next year. But of course, this is all speculation right now. We
could will be looking at a harder cap and some type of change to guarantee contracts. So it is tough to predict what the future holds since both sides are so far apart.
Lawson taking his game to Virginia
Lawson and another former UNC alum Ed Davis were in the Tri-Cities Summer League title game Thursday.
Lawson scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, but his team lost 141-134 to a team that was led by high school star K.C. Rivers – who also is Doc Rivers son.
Rivers led all scorers with 48 points, while his teammate Golden State’s Reggie Williams added 36.