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Next Up - The Boomers

The U.S. plays Australia Wednesday at 8 a.m. EST time, and yes, it's going to be an intense game.  Australia is playing with confidence after losing their first two, and after giving the U.S. fits in their exhibition match.  But there are two sides to every coin.

For the U.S., getting a tough game already from Australia means a couple of things.  First, they have a chance to prepare for Patrick Mills, the very quick point guard who has made such an impression in Beijing.  And secondly, as it turns out, Michael Redd may be a really key player in this game even if he never takes the court, because he can offer a thorough scouting report on his Milwaukee Bucks teammate Andrew Bogut.  He sees the guy every day during the season and obviously has an idea of his weaknesses and how to attack him, both on the court and mentally.

Still, Australia can pull it off if they can slow the U.S. down.  The Aussies are shooting much better from three point range than the U.S. is, and the line remains a problem for the Americans.

Captain Matt Nielsen says this: "There's lots of factors we're going to have to take away. But, putting it simply, their athleticism ... we have to take that out of the game. If we let them run up and down then it's all over and it will just be a circus show.

"History shows that a team of great individuals doesn't always work. We're playing as a unit like never before."

Fortunately, they're not the only ones who can say that.  What the U.S. is doing is the opposite of individualism, and if the Australians don't grasp that, then so much the better.