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USA Hoops practice Saturday

Posted by Marc J. Spears, Globe Staff  August 9, 2008 05:05 AM

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BEIJING -- After spending about six hours at the opening ceremony on Friday, USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski gave his team a light final practice before their Olympic opener late tonight against China. Team USA watched film of their previous games before the practice at Beijing Normal University yesterday afternoon. Due to the late 10:15 p.m. local start (10:15 a.m. Sunday morning in Boston) for the much anticipated Group B opener for both teams, Krzyzewski said there will also be a shoot around some time today back at BNU to get the players out of their hotel and ready.

“(Saturday’s) practice is about where are we at right now,” Krzyzewski said before yesterday’s practice, “what things can we do to make them a little bit better. We showed them on tape and then go 5-on-0. I didn’t have them taped (for their ankles Saturday). We were on our feet for about six hours (at the opening ceremony). It’s great to march, but it’s long. You can’t imagine how long it is.”

Krzyzewski said the Americans were completely healthy entering the China contest. Center Dwight Howard said his previous sternum injury is not a concern. Guard Dwyane Wade added he feels completely healed from a left knee injury that ended last season with the Heat prematurely for him. Krzyzewski said Wade has played as well as any other USA player during the five exhibition games.

“I do have my hops back and it feels good,” said Wade, who has had several acrobatic dunks in USA’s exhibition games. “I’ll tell you, it feels good to have that athletic explosion back.”

Said Krzyzewski: “Dwyane is at the level that he was when (the Heat) won the (NBA) championship (in 2006).”

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