With Gallinari Out, Quentin Richardson Will Step Up

Vinny YeagerCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2009

Danilo Gallinari's rookie season did not go as planned.

Gallinari has been bothered by a back injury for the entire season and now the situation has just gotten worse. He is probably going to be out for the remainder of the season, after missing most of the beginning of the year with the injury, and will fly back to Italy to get more tests done on him.

All of this taking place right in the middle of the biggest part of the Knick's season - the playoff run.

Great timing.

Although Gallinari was not a starter or a big time scorer for the Knicks, you noticed a difference in the game when he checked in.

Gallinari is also loved by the Knick faithful and the Garden would erupt when he would step foot on the court.

So, with Gallinari's presense gone, who will the Knicks turn to provide solid minutes and a great effort?

That player is Quentin Richardson.

Richardson is the veteran and vocal leader of this team and he is one of the big reasons the Knicks are where they are right now.

Even though his minutes have dropped due to New York acquiring Larry Hughes and Gallinari coming on as a solid player, he still stays positive and understands his role, which is to keep the team under control and make timely baskets, which he has.

Take the Piston game as an example last week. Richardson made two key shots down the stretch in the fourth quarter and the Knicks came out with a huge road victory.

That is exactly what the Knicks need if they want to not only make the playoffs, but also succeed in them and advance.

With Gallinari now being out for an extended period of time, Richardson will now be getting more minutes and more time to show Mike D'Antoni that he deserves to be on the court.

Richardson will not let this opportunity slip through his fingers and he will make sure that he will do every thing he can to get this Knick team into the playoffs.