• Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics (Photo : Rio Olympics)

Team USA enters the Olympic men's basketball competition as the overwhelming favorite not only because of their success in Beijing and London, but as well as their dominant campaign throughout their buildup heading to Rio.

On other hand, China looks to at least better their performance vs. the Americans after absorbing lopsided losses in the two tune-up matches.

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The odds of beating the defending Olympic and World champion might be a tall order, yet keeping toe-to-toe with the Americans throughout the course of the 40 minute ball game could turn out to be the spark for this young Chinese squad, especially in this tough 12-team tourney.

What's on the line:

United States: The pressure of winning a third consecutive gold in the Olympics is still high for this latest crop of US hoops talents. Then again, the overwhelming firepower this team possesses should be enough to rule out a major upset at this stage of the tournament.

Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving and the rest of Team USA will play China for a third time in roughly three weeks.

Beating up the Chinese remains the top objective heading into the match, but coach Mike Krzyzewski is now requiring another level of focus and intensity from his guys before they take on the stronger teams in their group.

China: Again, China is aware that it would need more than a perfect game to beat the Americans. However, keeping the final score respectable would certainly boost the morale of this team, knowing that they finally play well against the very best basketball players in the world.

China is expected to rely on their bigs Yi Jianlian, Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin, but watch out for their 22-year old playmaker Gou Ailun. That dude can play as he showed in the past two warm-up games with Team USA. Ailun needs to put up big time numbers if China wants to make this game interesting.

Projected Starting Lineup:

Team USA: C- DeMarcus Cousins, PF - Carmelo Anthony, SF - Kevin Durant, SG - Klay Thompson, PG - Kyrie Irving

Team China: C - Wang Zhelin, PF - Yi Jianlian, SF - Zhai Xiaochuan, SG - Zhou Peng, PG - Gou Ailun

Prediction & Winner:

It's a no brainer. Team USA will dominate China from the get-go till the final buzzer. Durant will live up to his billing as the team's premier offensive weapon, topping all scorers with another 20+ point performance. It would be interesting how China will respond defensively this time around. But no matter what adjustments they would make, team USA will sooner or later figure it out how to score in bunches. Predicted Winner: USA by 40 points.

Schedule: 6:00 p.m US EST at Carioca Arena in Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Live Stream and Replay is available on NBC Sports Online. France vs. Australia replay can be watched on NBC Replay page.