Following an inefficient outing against Venezuela, USA Men's Basketball concludes its pre-Olympic schedule opposite Rio-qualifier Nigeria. During Team U.S.' latest showcase, the prohibitive Gold-Medal favorites faltered mightily from deep -- connecting on just 4-of-25 three-point attempts -- while shooting an exhibition-worst 42.4 percent overall.
Monday, from Houston's Toyota Center, Mike Krzyweski's squad looks to regain top form versus their experienced Group B opposition. Former NBA reserves Ike Diogu and Ben Uzoh lead a Nigerian national unit that includes Pistons' 2016 second-round pick Michael Gbinije and Portland standout Al-Farouq Aminu's older brother Alade.
Pursuant to tonight's encounter, Team U.S. opens Olympic play Saturday, August 6 vs. China. In two Olympic tune ups, USA pounded China by an average of 49.5 points.
Throughout a mostly impressive pre-Rio run, Team USA Olympic Basketball has been fueled by an equal-opportunity offense and stifling defense. Overall, the defending two-time Olympic champions have outscored exhibition opponents 101-58 nightly, while garnering a 4-0 record.
International veterans Kevin Durant (16 ppg) and Carmelo Anthony (12.3) have led the United States' offensive onslaught. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson (13.5) and DeMarcus Cousins (13.5) join an impressive collection that boasts ten players averaging four-plus points.
On the defensive side, Team U.S. has dominated the glass in grabbing 48.5 rebounds per game, while swiping 11.25 steals and blocking 5.25 shots per outing.
(Statistics courtesy of USAB.com)
Team USA will use tonight's encounter to tighten execution before venturing into serious Olympic waters.
Other stories making headlines around the association include:
SB Nation chronicles the competitive imbalance this version of Team USA Basketball still presents.
USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt says Kyrie Irving's time is now.
TNT is pushing the envelope in sending the outspoken, former NBA MVP on a national mission to discuss relevant societal motifs.
The Vertical's Sams Charania details D-Wade's mission statement during his Bulls introductory press conference.
Oklahoma City Thunder uber-guard Russell Westbrook simply scoffs over the internet asking him about his feeling towards Kevin Durant.