Eric Gordon: Team USA is really getting it together
Eric Gordon, the Clippers' shooting guard and a reserve on Team USA, will be a guest blogger for the Fabulous Forum during the FIBA World Championship tournament. Eric scored six points -- making two of nine shots -- while playing 19 minutes in a 99-77 victory over Slovenia on Sunday. Here are his impressions of the game as well as some other tidbits from the day:
Today was a typical game day. I got up around 10 a.m. and got something to eat with the rest of the team, and then we always have film in the morning around 11 a.m. We go over film of our opponent, going through their plays. Slovenia has good guard play, where they come off the pick and roll looking to shoot. You have to deny that and wear them down defensively.
After film, we go back to our rooms to get ready to catch the bus. We're mostly listening to music, getting into a zone. There's not a lot of talking at that time. If we get to the arena for an early game, right away we start warming up. If you play the late game, like we did on Saturday, we have to wait to warm up. We then watch the other teams play before we get ready.
We’ve been having games every day, so it’s kind of hard to get out sightseeing. It takes about 25 minutes to get to the arena from the hotel, so you see quite a lot of the city [Istanbul, Turkey]. It’s pretty nice, similar to Greece. It’s more of a big city, though, with lots of people on the streets. Our hotel is right by the Mediterranean Sea, overlooking it, actually, so you see lots of boats and people moving around.
The team is really getting it going together. My shot was just a little short today. I figured out I just needed to shoot it a little farther, put a little more on the shot. I’m just trying go out there and contribute however I can. We're getting better and better defensively, just trying to compete together. I did OK on defense, although you can always be better. As long as we stay consistent with the effort, then our execution will be there.Monday, we play Brazil. They kind of play similar to what we do; they like to get up and down the floor. They like a fast-paced game. Coach [Mike Krzyzewski] always talks about how this might be one of the tougher games of the tournament. We have to play good transition defense and create turnovers. Our guard play will be key when they try to advance the ball.
I’ll be ready for the next one. Of course, sometimes you worry about your shot when it's off. But it’s about warming up next time and getting your shot right. It’s a routine each game.
-- Eric Gordon
Photo: U.S. guard Eric Gordon lines up a shot over Slovenia's Bostjan Nachbar during Sunday's 99-77 victory. Credit: Mustafa Ozer / AFP/Getty Images