The Danilo Gallinari Watch is kind of like keeping an eye on the next big storm off the coast. There are computer models and projections of how big it will grow, but whether it actually reaches its potential is uncertain.

For Nuggets coach George Karl, this results in a bit of an eye-rolling process. When Gallinari plays well, the questions about his young forward's potential heat up. When Gallinari doesn't play well, the tone of queries turns toward the negative.

After an eye-opening showing against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, the Danilo Gallinari Watch is back. Is this man the lead actor the organization has hoped he would grow into being since trading for him two seasons ago? Is he finally turning that corner?

That answer, now, from Karl, is yes.

"I think Gallo has moved into kind of a fight for, 'Who is our best player?' " Karl said. "And I have no problem saying that on a lot of nights, and maybe even most nights, he is our best player."

This is, and has always been, a story more about Gallinari's willingness to raise his level of play and stay at that level on an everyday basis than his talent. And, his desire, or lack thereof, to accept the leadership requirements that accompany the role.

Gallinari's play of late shows he's moving quickly to being a high-level, consistent player. His scoring average is at a career-high 17 points per game. His field-goal percentage (.423) is the second-highest of his career. His 3-point percentage (.372) is his highest since 2009-10 and he's adding 5.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Read more: Denver Nuggets' Danilo Gallinari becoming a pressure cooker in fourth quarter - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_22494946/gallinari-pressure-cooker#ixzz2JfecVNnl

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