Besides the 6-foot-9 Diogu and Skinn, Nigeria also has forward Al-Farouq Aminu — the No. 8 pick in the 2010 draft — on its roster. Aminu was traded last year by the Los Angeles Clippers to New Orleans in the deal for the U.S. starting point guard Chris Paul.
As always, the Americans will try to use their swarming defensive pressure to force mistakes that lead to easy baskets. Nigeria will need much better offensive execution to stand a chance after recording a pathetic three assists and going 1 for 16 from 3-point range in its loss to Lithuania.
"They're the best players in the world, obviously. It's no secret, but we're competitors. I know I am, so doesn't really make a difference," Skinn said. "I'm going to go out there and play the best basketball I can. We obviously have to play smart. You can't make very many mistakes against a team like that, so we've got to cut down on our turnovers" and make some shots.
Wednesday's day off will probably be the last day of rest at the Olympics for the U.S. The Americans have dealt with a hectic schedule that took them across the United States and a couple of stops in Europe before arriving in London, and Krzyzewski has clearly been trying to give extra rest to Bryant, who will turn 34 this month and has played just 21 minutes in the tournament.
Nigeria is ready for the Americans' best. And after a chance to catch their breath, perhaps the U.S. players will bring it.
"We're going to have a day off but we're still going to be around each other," Carmelo Anthony said Tuesday. "We'll be in the hotel. We might go to some events tomorrow. We've been going since Vegas nonstop and put in a lot of work in. We definitely need that day."
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