Thunder journal: Hamidou Diallo starts in place of Danilo Gallinari
Hamidou Diallo starts in place of Danilo Gallinari
Hamidou Diallo made his sixth career start on Friday in the Thunder's 133-86 loss at Milwaukee.
Diallo filled in for Danilo Gallinari (left ankle soreness). Gallinari, 31, has not played on the second night of a back-to-back since November. The Thunder played Thursday, beating the Kings 112-108 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
OKC's second-leading scorer, Gallinari is averaging 19.3 points per game and shooting 41% from 3-point range this season.
Gallinari, who has a history of injury predating his time in OKC, missed four straight games in December for left ankle soreness. Since then, the listed reasons for Gallinari’s single-game absences have included a right calf contusion and left thumb soreness.
Gallinari was the first Thunder player to miss a game for “rest” this year. He did so on Jan 18, the back half of a back-to-back. Thunder coach Billy Donovan said at the time that it wouldn’t necessarily become a pattern for the veteran sharpshooter.
NBA policy restricts teams from resting healthy players on the road and in national TV games. The Thunder’s game at Milwaukee on Friday was both.
Diallo drew a tough matchup Friday: reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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Foul trouble limited Diallo’s playing time. He picked up his third foul less than five minutes into the game, and Deonte Burton replaced him. It was the first time in a month that Burton played more than five minutes in a Thunder game. He has been up and down between the Thunder and G League affiliate OKC Blue.
Diallo returned to start the second half, but about two minutes in he committed a fourth foul. Thunder coach Billy Donovan left Diallo in, and the Thunder guard recovered with a fast break dunk soon after.
Nader’s hustle stands out
Abdel Nader left Antetokounmpo behind on a backdoor cut, caught a pass from Thunder center Steven Adams and threw down a dunk.
It was part of a nine-point performance, providing a rare bright spot in the Thunder’s blowout loss.
Nader’s final stat line was less impressive than his hustle plays. He chased a loose ball halfway across the court in the first quarter and was rewarded with free throws. He successfully contested Antetokounmpo’s 3-point shot at the end of the first quarter and was fouled by Antetokounmpo on a 3-pointer early in the next period.
Thunder loses 3-point battle
Center Mike Muscala accounted for a third of the Thunder’s six made 3-pointers. OKC shot just 17.1% from 3-point range Friday.
Meanwhile, the Bucks made at least four 3-pointers in each quarter, peaking with eight 3-pointers in the third quarter alone. The Bucks shot 47.6% from 3-point range Friday.
Maddie Lee, Staff writer