Eric Gordon: Team USA beats Iran, gets top seed
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. On Wednesday the USA clamped down Iran’s offense and won easily, 88-51, to earn a top seed in the knockout round. Gordon played 21 minutes, shot three for eight from the field, hit a three-pointer, got one board, one steal, and scored eight points. Team USA plays Tunisia on Thursday to close out its first-round games and will start elimination play Monday against an opponent yet to be determined. Here are Gordon’s impressions of the game as well as some other tidbits from the day:
We knew going into the game against Iran that they weren’t as talented as Brazil and some other teams, so we tried to stay poised. I knew we were going to get the win, and near the end we really pushed it. I missed a dunk, though. I just wish I would have finished it. I thought I got fouled.
Even though we were playing Iran, it all seemed like a regular game, there was nothing political at all.
After the game Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski said he wished we would’ve played like we did in second half in the first half. We played really good team defense at the end. Our offense was also better today. We played more as a team instead of players doing their own thing; we moved the ball around a lot better. The only thing that can slow us down is not sharing the ball.
Getting the top seed means a lot. I think we’ll play a fourth-place team to start the next round and that should make it easier for us.
Thursday we play Tunisia. We just want to get a good win, play as a team, and try and end the game in the first half.
Tuesday was a day off. Didn’t do much, got a massage, and that was about it.
I’ve also been to China and Japan this year; those were my first times overseas.
It’s very interesting. You can tell people are really into their culture and have different beliefs. The atmosphere here in Turkey has been great. It’s a place where so many things seem kind of like America — the other day they served some really good lamb chops. And you’ve got Asia right next to Turkey. It’s very different. Speaking English, we definitely have some trouble sometimes being understood. But when we go out, because of how tall and muscular we are, people assume we are American players.
-- Eric Gordon
Photo: Eric Gordon goes to the basket in the USA's win over Iran on Wednesday in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: Bulent Kilic / AFP / Getty Images.