The United States will attempt to circle the wagons and get back on track on Day 3 after an eye-opening loss to France to open up their Olympic run.
The American entered the Games as a heavy favorite to take gold for the fourth consecutive Olympics. But their loss to the French showed that won't be as easy this time around.
Things are set to be a bit easier when they tip-off late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning depending on your time zone. They will get a chance to right the ship against an Iran squad that figures to be one of the lesser squads in the tournament.
After that game, one of the teams who have to believe in their opportunity to win gold will be up as Australia takes on Italy. The Boomers are off to a strong start after beating Nigeria 84-67 in their first pool game.
It's still early in the tournament but some teams are facing do-or-die situations. The group game between Nigeria and Germany will likely send someone home after both teams lost their openers. Here's a look a the complete schedule along with pertinent broadcast information and the latest lines.
Day 3 Olympic Basketball Schedule
Tuesday, July 27
Women's: Australia (-7.5) vs. Belgium, 4 a.m. ET
Women's: Puerto Rico (-17.5) vs. China, 8 a.m. ET, NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com
Men's: Nigeria (-4.5) vs. Germany, 9 p.m. ET, NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com
Wednesday, July 28
Men's: United States (-41.5) vs. Iran, 12:40 a.m. ET, Peacock, NBCOlympics.com
Men's: Italy vs. Australia (-8), 4:20 a.m. ET, NBC Sports App, NBCOlympics.com
United States vs. Iran will re-air on Wednesday afternoon on NBC and in prime time on NBC Sports Network. Italy vs. Australia will re-air on NBC Sports Network at 11:30 p.m. ET.
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There may be a pair of fairly evenly matched teams but all eyes will be on the United States.
The favorites' loss to France has given the whole event a sense of parity. As more than 40-point favorites against Iran, they aren't likely to be in danger of dropping another game, but they will need to look sharp to get some confidence back.
While France brought a handful of NBA players to the proceedings in Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum, the Iranian team doesn't have any.
The American side knows there is still plenty of hope. Specifically, Damian Lillard, who is playing in his first Olympics, noted the expectations that come with being on Team USA may have created an illusion that they should be blowing teams out.
"I think that's why a lot of people will make it seem like the end of the world, but our job as professionals and this team and representing our country at the Olympics, we've got to do what's necessary, and we still can accomplish what we came here to accomplish," Lillard said, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Going against an Iranian team that should allow them some space to get into a rhythm and figure out lineups that work could be the kind of opportunity they need to prepare for the quarterfinal stage after group play.
Before the Red, White and Blue suit up the first of two important games in Group B will go down. Nigeria and Germany will likely be fighting for their tournament lives after both teams dropped their openers.
The Germans' defense was shredded by Italy who scored 92 points in 40 minutes and shot 50 percent from the floor as a team. Now, they'll see a Nigerian team that boasts eight NBA players.
Group B could find its winner early in the morning in the States. Both Australia and Italy won their openers so the winner of this game will have a decided advantage in winning the group.
The Boomers will be the favorites after their win over Nigeria to open up play. The African nation forced them into 22 turnovers, though, so the execution wasn't quite what they would like to see.
"[We] obviously didn't play as well as we would have liked," Mills said after the game, per Gadiel Notelovitz of Fox Sports. "[But] what we're trying to do here is team effort and everyone playing their part, and that's what we did today."
Despite the sloppiness, the Aussies still won comfortably led by Patty Mills' 25 points and six assists.
Italy, meanwhile, got a balanced performance from its key contributors. They had five players in double-digits and shot 15-of-31 from beyond the three-point line in a 10-point win over Germany. If they shoot like that again, Australia could be in trouble.
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