Sometimes it’s pretty, sometimes it’s not. His game-icing bucket against the Milwaukee Bucks though was pretty—pretty damn wild.
With the Denver Nuggets ahead by four and less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Ty Lawson poked away an entry pass made by Brandon Jennings. Gallinari came up with the loose ball and began running the break. He dished the rock off to Corey Brewer on the weak side who immediately tossed it back to Gallo.
To call Brewer’s pass “questionable,” would be an understatement. Gallinari really didn’t have a shot and wound up barreling in Mike Dunleavy. Luckily for Gallo, not only were Dunleavy’s feet not set, but they were in the air. Danilo drew the contact and chucked the ball toward the basked with his right hand.
And in the most coldblooded of fashions it went in. No seriously, Gallo actually drew blood from Dunleavy.
Denver’s bench went nuts once the ball dropped in (JaVale McGee’s reaction was priceless) and the Nuggets eventually went on to win.
As impressive as Gallo’s make was, though, I’m not sure I’m ready to call it the shot of the year, let alone the “shot of the century.” The Nuggets’ announcers went absolutely bonkers after Gallinari’s circus shot, ordaining it the best shot they have seen in the new millennium.
Far be it from me to discredit a Denver-based play-by-play commentator, but I’d like to see a compilation of all the absurd shots attempted and made since 2000, and the ones that have yet to come over the next 87 years before I shower Gallinari with 100 years worth of praise.
Of course, there was no way he was serious (I don’t think). Emotions run wild with the game on the line and he was just adding some color to his commentating (see what I did there?).
Where that shot ranks aside, it really was a fantastic effort and adjustment by Gallinari in the air. Every NBA player understands the importance of throwing the ball toward the rim once they hear the whistle, but not all of them do it. And few would have been able to do it over their shoulder the way Gallo did.
More important than the victory or the shot itself, though, was what it meant. Per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, free tacos were on the line:
By hitting the basket, Gallinari also pushed the Nuggets to 110 points, triggering a promotion in which fans can purchase four tacos for $1 dollar at Taco Bell on Wednesday.
“They loved it for the tacos, I think,” Gallinari said of his shot, during a televised postgame interview. “It was a good shot, an important shot.”
You bet your Italian behind it was important shot, Danilo. It allowed you to break 20 points. It propelled your team to victory.
And it fed the good people of Denver.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.