Gallo gallops. He runs the court like a thoroughbred (the Italian stallion?), his long strides and fortified frame charging toward defenders daring enough to draw a charge.

All Friday night, Danilo Gallinari, the guy they call "Gallo," was eccellente. In the Nuggets' overtime loss at Portland, the 6-foot-10 Italian scored a game-high 30 points, one off his career high.

These first couple of games with the new Nuggets are like the first couple of dates in a relationship. Nuggets fans (and coaches and players) aren't sure what to make of these people, but each night, they're learning something new. And liking it.

"Gallo," Nuggets assistant coach Melvin Hunt whispered, as if this were a secret, "he's going to

be good. Good on both ends of the court."