Olympic Basketball 2012: Team USA vs. Nigeria Preview

The United States will look to improve to 3-0 in Olympic play this afternoon when they take on Nigeria (1-1) at 5:15 p.m. EST.

Team USA won its first two games beating France 98-71 then Tunisia two days ago 110-63. Nigeria won its first game vs. Tunisia 60-56 then lost to Lithuania 72-53.

Kevin Durant has led the U.S. in scoring through two games averaging 17.5 points per game to go with 9.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. The U.S. is shooting .521 percent from the field as a team and .360 percent from three while holding their opponents to .374 percent shooting and .229 percent from beyond the arc.

Nigeria is led by former NBA player Ike Diogu who is leading the team averaging 12.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in the Olympics. New Orleans Hornets forward Al-Farouq Aminu is averaging 11.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game for them.

Nigeria will be another tune-up game for Team USA who will win the game easily. Nigeria is possibly a step up from Tunisia but still nowhere near the level of a team with a chance to upset Team USA.

Nigeria is shooting just .286 percent from the field so far in pool play and has made just 3-of-29 threes. They also only have 12 assists as a team compared to 55 for the U.S.

One of the players for Team USA that has stepped up since the Olympics have started is Kevin Love who is second on the team averaging 15.0 points per game. Everyone on the roster has gotten a lot of playing time so far because the games haven’t been close but Love has made the most of his minutes.

Russell Westbrook is averaging 10.0 points per game and James Harden 7.5, although still struggling from three making just 2-of-7 so far.

In their last game, head coach Mike Krzyzewski subbed in an entire new five after a few minutes and slow start vs. Tunisia. It sent a message to the starters and was a reminder of how deep this team is.

Krzyzewski then started those five bench players the second half and they played very well. We can expect to see Krzyzewski taking advantage of the team’s depth maybe more so that he had planned for the rest of this tournament.

The United States is the only undefeated team left in their pool right now with France upsetting Argentina two days ago. The battle for the second seed will be between France, Argentina and Lithuania while the U.S. should cruise to the top seed.

Nigeria would have had an outside chance to advance to the medal round had they upset Lithuania in their last game. Now it looks like they may not win another game.

Topics: 2012 Olympics, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ike Diogu, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Mike Krzyzewski, Nigeria, Russell Westbrook, USA Basketball

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