The Chinese have certainly been game, hitting three early three-pointers--including one by Yao--to send the crowd into a frenzy. A few of the arena volunteers cheered Yao's long-distance shot, only to be reprimanded by their supervisors. Apparently volunteers here are not supposed to cheer. One apologized to nearby media members.
It was 16-16 after eight minutes, and the crowd was "Jiayou" ing its head off. ("Jiayou!" is the most popular cheer, literally meaning "add some more gas," used to mean "let's go" at sporting events.) The cheers are unimaginative, perhaps, but pretty dang loud in bursts. The Chinese have also taken to booing loudly when the Americans are on the free-throw line, even though they cheer when the Americans dunk.
Starting forward Carmelo Anthony was wholly ineffective for the Americans, who went to a guard-heavy lineup midway through the quarter. That didn't help things, though. Starting center Dwight Howard has been perhaps the Americans' best player, with six points and several nice moves in the paint. LeBron James has seven, and earned a massive cheer for a dunk.
But, as has been the case in past international competitions, the Americans aren't doing much from the perimeter, and they seem surprised by the speed of China's guards. This certainly wasn't the start Coach K wanted in his first game with the "Redeem Team," but the U.S. will obviously win in a blowout.