Olympic Melo is back!
Team USA began its slate of tune-up games leading up to the Rio Olympics on Friday with a 111-74 stomping of Argentina, and Carmelo Anthony fit right back into the three-bombing role he filled so well for the 2012 squad, splashing 5 of his 8 attempts from beyond the arc en route to a 17-point performance. He was the third-leading scorer for the U.S. behind Kevin Durant (23 points) and Paul George (18 points). Personally, I like to think Melo took particular delight in destroying an Argentinian team that failed to call up his old friend Pablo Prigioni.
Melo took a little to get going, missing 6 of his first 8 field goal attempts, but still finished 6-12 from the field. He also chipped in 7 rebounds and 3 steals. He didn't register an assist or a turnover, which speaks to the fact that he didn't control the ball as often as he does with the Knicks. But the dude still gets buckets.
Welcome back, you magnificent three-point gunner.
Melo is definitely the old man of this squad, on the cusp of playing in his fourth Olympics. He was given the microphone to address the crowd before tip-off: "Your support means the world to us. We got to do what we got to do and bring home the gold." He also was the first player to address the team during their initial gathering last Sunday, according to Marc Berman.
At this point should come as no surprise that Melo has embraced a leadership role. Players respect him. I just hope he keeps on dropping them threes, and that his hot shooting carries right on into the NBA season, as it did in 2012.