View Full Version : Melo's gold hopes, conditioning and defense, and good mood

08-20-2008, 02:40 AM
For Nuggets' Anthony, it's been a redeeming summer so far
By Chris Tomasson, Rocky Mountain News (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/aug/19/nuggets-anthony-its-been-redeeming-olympics-so-far/)


2008 and 2004

Four years after Team USA’s Greek tragedy, he’s counting on standing on the top of the podium Sunday. “After we win this gold medal, nobody will ever remember 2004,” the Nuggets forward said after practice Tuesday... “After ’04, we were at the lowest point as far as USA Basketball was concerned,” Anthony said. “We were at the bottom for us.” But Anthony can sense a “360-degree turnaround” is at hand. So his geometry is off, but you know what he means... “(2004) was frustrating,” Anthony said. “I know on a team like this, you’re not supposed to worry about how many minutes you play and things like that. But guys like myself and LeBron James, we were expected to play in 2004, but we didn’t. So that kind of takes down a notch of your confidence.” ... The situation still irks Anthony. But he doesn’t like to talk about it. “I didn’t have any problems with Larry, man,” Anthony said. “He had problems with me. A lot of people never really got a chance to really hear what I have to say. But I don’t really have nothing to say. That’s over with for me. I’m in 2008 right now." .. "We’ve got a chance to redeem ourselves, and we can’t wait for that moment,” Anthony said. “We’re knocking on the door (and trying) to accomplish what we’ve been waiting to do for four years.”


Melo's Conditioning and his Defense

“In ’06, he probably was in the best shape I have ever seen him,” said Team USA assistant Jim Boeheim, Anthony’s college coach at Syracuse who said Anthony had something to prove coming back from his 2004 Olympics troubles. “Last year, he was still there. This year, he probably was one step off that (when he showed up last month for training camp in Las Vegas). Now, he’s gotten it back going full blast. This is probably the best defensively I have ever seen him play ... He started out shooting poorly, and he didn’t have all three of those guys before (James, Wade and Bryant). They’re really scorers.”

With Anthony’s offensive role reduced, he has sought to become more of an all-around player. He played solid defense Monday against Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki, helping hold the Mavericks star to 14 points on 4-for-10 shooting. “I get tired of people saying I can’t play no defense,” Anthony said. While Anthony’s Olympic rebounding average of 4.8 doesn’t initially blow anybody away, consider he’s doing it in an average of just 17.6 minutes.


Kind words from Kobe and Boozer; Melo's good spirits

“He’s been fantastic,” Bryant said of Anthony doing things other than score. “He’s been playing great defense. The last game, he rebounded the ball like an animal (six in 14 minutes against Germany). Obviously, the numbers are going to be skewed for everybody. He’s been fantastic.” Bryant likes even more about Anthony. “He’s probably my favorite person on the team,” Bryant said. “He’s funny as hell. That’s my guy. That’s my dude. He’s just funny, and he and I, we get along extremely well.”

Keeping a sense of humor was more difficult for Anthony in Athens. But in Beijing his trademark smile has captivated plenty. “I’m really proud of him,” Boozer said of Anthony bouncing back. “I’m happy for him. When we get that gold medal, he’s going to be one of the happiest men on the podium.” Anthony already is pretty chipper. “Everything is better on and off the court,” he said, comparing these Games to 2004. “I’m happy. I’m having a lot of fun on the court just hanging with the guys and visiting and talking with (players from) different countries.”

08-20-2008, 03:49 AM
Im happy for fatty melo....all jokes aside, hes a phenomenally talented player, a top 10 NBA player and if it wasnt for a King James, he'd be far and away the best SF in the game (sorry Pierce!). Lets hope that after USA wins the gold, Melo can come back and help the Nuggs win the chip

08-20-2008, 05:13 AM
You know, these Olympics could be a real milestone in Melo's NBA career. And I'm not talking about medals or accolades or any of that stuff.

For one thing, it sounds like his conditioning really must have been subpar going into Team USA training camp, but that now he has gotten fully back (or nearly fully back) into true game shape. We Nuggets fans should be very thankful for that. Without the Olympics on his docket this summer, who knows how he would have turned up to Nuggets training camp? Now, because of his training and play for the U.S. - and also because he's heard an earful by now about his conditioning - I'm feeling pretty confident that he'll show up in good physical shape in October.

In addition to that, he's been focusing on his defense, focusing on his rebounding, focusing on being a team player without being the main star (which is really more of a mental adjustment), focusing on being effective without the ball (since most of the time he doesn't have it now). All the little things we always wish he'd do better to become a more complete player are all the areas of his game he's really pushing to the frontburner right now.

So next season, if we see a "bad attitude, DUI, chubby, out-of-shape" Melo (not that I buy into all those stereotypes) make big strides towards becoming a "more team-oriented, more focused, better-conditioned, more effortful with improved defense" Melo, then I think 5 or 10 years down the line (if not much sooner) when people look back at Melo's career and ask how he elevated his game, everyone will recognize these Olympics as the catalyst.

08-20-2008, 12:33 PM
who knows how he would have turned up to Nuggets training camp?

I agree you Den, this really could be a good turning point for melo. But when I read this part, all I could think of is: "I wonder if Nene is doing the summer cookie binge again?"

08-20-2008, 09:40 PM
I agree you Den, this really could be a good turning point for melo. But when I read this part, all I could think of is: "I wonder if Nene is doing the summer cookie binge again?"

God, I hope not. What he needs to be doing right now is exactly what K-Mart did all year last year. Rehab, conditioning, strength training, endurance training, grind, grind, grind.

Unfortunately, he's never really been that type. :/

08-21-2008, 01:19 AM
Im Happy For Melo And The Whole Us Squad Cuz Puttin A Old School Who Stays In His Old School Ways Larry Brown Was The Dumbest Pick Ever To Coach That 04 Squad With All That Speed/talent And Try And Play A Slow Nba Game Like He Was Coachin The Pistons Or Somethin, They Shoulda Picked A Coach Like John Thompson Or Even Coach K, I Havent Seen Melo This Slim In A Long Time Hope He Can Keep It Up