Danilo Gallinari fights for rebound with shoe in hand
Billy Donovan showed his team a video clip in practice Wednesday that Donovan described as “pretty interesting.”
Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari played a consequential defensive possession Tuesday night with his right shoe in his right hand. Rather than tossing his shoe to the sidelines when it fell off, Gallinari used it as an extension of his 6-foot-10 frame when he fought Orlando’s Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic for a rebound.
“He’s taller than me,” Gallinari said of Vucevic. “But if I have the shoe in my hand, I figure I’m a little taller than him. So I tipped it.”
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OKC, leading Orlando 97-89 with 1:20 left in the game, opted not to foul on Gallinari’s shoeless possession. Doing so would have sent the Magic to the free throw line.
“Honestly, I think Orlando should have went at him,” Shai Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I don’t think they gave whoever he was guarding the ball, which was a little silly.”
Gallinari guarded Vucevic, but Evan Fournier missed a mid-range jumper instead of finding his big man. After a loose ball, courtesy of Gallinari’s shoe, the Thunder gained possession with no points surrendered.
“Gallo was fine, but the basketball IQ of our team was great,” Chris Paul said. “Most people would yell, ‘Take a foul.’ I almost think I heard my brother on the sidelines say take a foul. I turned to him and was like, ‘shut up.’ They were in the bonus … It was smart on everybody on the team to try to get a stop and we did.”
The Thunder beat the Magic 102-94. OKC will travel to San Antonio next for a Thursday night game.