Melo v Willy wasn’t exactly the slobber-knocker we were all hoping for — Melo struggled with his shot and Willy didn’t see much playing time. Still, their were some encouraging signs.
USA 82, Spain 76
Carmelo Anthony: 25 minutes played, 7 points on 2-11 shooting (1-5 from three), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block
Much will be made of Melo’s ghastly shooting numbers. He did what he usually does when his outside shot isn’t falling — bully his way to the rim — but even those closer attempts wouldn’t go in. It wasn’t his night. He did, however, contribute to dominance on the offensive glass with 3 offensive rebounds, including a crucial Tyson Chandler-esque tap-back on one of the final possessions of the game.
In all likelihood Sunday will be the final game of Melo’s brilliant Olympic career. Here’s hoping he finds his jumper and goes out in a blaze of glory and buckets.
Willy Hernangomez: 11 minutes played, 4 points on 2-4 shooting. 6 rebounds
Willy had some decent run in the first half, but the Spanish coach had a quick leash on him in the second. The USA is a terrible matchup for him —they frequently play small, and their centers are athletic freaks. The most important thing for Willy — and I’ll probably expound upon this after the bronze medal game — is that he earned his way into the rotation, even against the tougher matchups.