Eric Gordon: It's time to rest and prepare for the next phase
Eric Gordon, the Clippers' shooting guard and a reserve on Team USA, is a guest blogger for the Fabulous Forum during the FIBA World Championship tournament in Turkey. Team USA starts the knockout round Monday when it plays fourth-seeded Angola. Here are some thoughts from Gordon as he prepares for the game and enjoys some down time:
I've spent the last couple of days basically resting and doing my body work with my trainer. I haven't been sightseeing much since we've had a lot of games -- five in six days -- and I've been trying to get my rest and work on my conditioning.
We had a really good trip the other night. We went to an island, supposedly it was man-made, with a nice restaurant. The view was great. You can't get too much better, a nice boat on the water and a good restaurant.
I never thought I'd come to Turkey, so you try to take it in and enjoy it. You have more fun when you travel on exhibition tours, when you can enjoy the sights and being with the guys on the team, but at this tournament we have big expectations and we want to come home with the gold.
I've been recognized a couple of times while I've been here. Most people don't know who I am, though. Everybody over here tries to speak a little English. Some speak it well, and you can always find someone to help you communicate.
We play Angola next and they're really an athletic team and do a lot of one on one. It's almost an NBA-like style of play. We've studied film on them and it really helps to know how they run their offense. We're going to have to really get after it; we need to have good chemistry on offense and defense as a team. We have to keep on working hard every possession, don’t pace yourself. We want to create more turnovers and get more steals to get easy scoring opportunities.
I think we need to move the ball around a little more on the half-court setting. It’s getting better and it needs to improve as we keep on playing from now on. I think my game is pretty good right now, but I can still step it up in certain ways, just create turnovers and keep on making the open shots. If we play as a team, we’ll be good.
-- Eric Gordon
Photo: Eric Gordon forces a turnover against Tunisia, when he led Team USA with 21 points in a 92-57 victory to finish pool play. Credit: Mustafa Ozer / AFP / Getty Images