He's got open shot, but just too open

From Beijing To Baltimore

Beijing 2008

August 12, 2008|By RICK MAESE AND KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG

The Sun's Olympic correspondents, Rick Maese and Kevin Van Valkenburg, are blogging back and forth to each other at baltimoresun.com/olympicsblog. An excerpt:

Swimming, a team sport? I can buy that. Oddly, though, do we still regard basketball as a team sport or individual competition?

This is going to come as a complete surprise to you since you're camped out at the Water Cube 24-7 (seriously, are the Chinese volunteers there just regarding you as a piece of furniture at the Cube or what?), but there are actually other sports taking place here. Last night, in men's basketball, it was USA vs. China. Just to witness that game and soak in the atmosphere ... I wasn't going to miss it, Kevin.

By now you know that Team USA won the game, 101-70, and it still looks poised for gold here. But what's up with Carmelo Anthony? He finished with three points and was 0-for-3 from the field. If you think back to the U.S. team's final exhibition game, Melo is now just 4-for-16 in the past two games. And he has missed all six three-point attempts in those two contests.

Kevin, you're never going to guess the problem. After the game, he confided: "Maybe I've never been this open before."

Huh? He can't make shots because he's too open. Do you follow that? That's like saying you can't get a girlfriend because there are too many girls who want you. (I've never said this, for the record.)

His plan to snap out of it: Just keep on shooting, he says.

There's a lot of basketball to played, but Team USA coaches would probably like their chances better if Melo could find his shooting stroke. For his sake, I hope the remaining opponents start guarding him and stop making him shoot those open shots.

Team USA is back on the court tomorrow (or today, depending on which country you're in) against Angola.

Rick Maese

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