Matthew Dellavedova and Andrew Bogut.

Can Australia be a real test for Team USA at the Olympics

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It's a pretty nice life if you are a member of the U.S. Men's basketball team at the Olympics in Brazil right now. 

Living on a luxury cruiser rather than in the still uncompleted athlete accommodation, spending your off days doing pretty much whatever you want, and playing against teams where you barely need to get out of first gear to win by more than 40 points.

After beating Venezuela by 44 last night, and by 57 against China in their opening game, Team USA will face their toughest test in a while when they take on Australia on Wednesday night. But are the Aussies themselves even a challenge?

The Boomers sit 11th in FIBA's current rankings, which shouldn't give much hope for putting up a tough test against the indomitable Americans, but after amassing a 2-0 record so far they have looked in good nick.  

They started off the tournament against Tony Parker and France, running out easy winners over the 5th ranked team in the world by a score of 87-66 and then following it with an equally impressive 95-80 win over Serbia, who are ranked 6th. 


In Australia's win over Serbia, Milwaukee Bucks point guard Matthew Dellavedova was exceptional. The former Cavaliers guard - and 2016 NBA Champion - dropped an amazing 23 points and 13 assists, with no turnovers, as he orchestrated a big comeback.

The Boomers also boast Patty Mills in their backcourt and the combination of him and Dellavedova is probably the best one-two punch that the United States will face all tournament. At least they will now be facing players who know how to run a pick-and-roll.

Serbia v Australia - Men's Basketball - Olympics: Day 3

So, can the Aussies challenge America on Wednesday night?

Speaking ahead of the game, starting center Andrew Bogut called the game against the States "the ultimate test."

“It’s the ultimate test,” he said. “They’re the best team in the world, best players in the world. I think if we go out there with the mindset that we can compete with them, win or lose, we will be happy with that. If we go out there and we’re intimidated by them, try to get our shoes signed before the game, and a signed jersey, we won’t win with that mindset.”

It won't be easy, but you can bet that Australia are going to fight and scrap on every single play. 

If the USA are going to be tested during the Olympics, this will probably be their hardest game. They may have beaten Australia in the quarterfinals of each of the last two Olympics, winning by 31 points in Beijing and by 33 in London, but this is a different team, who can cause problems.

It is worth remembering, however, that they have only lost once under Mike Krzyzewski. That's how good the U.S. are, and it would take something incredible for Australia to change that.

Serbia v Australia - Men's Basketball - Olympics: Day 3

Australian Olympic Team
Team USA Olympics

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