"We are playing some good ball right now," James said. "We are going against a team next that we know, that we are used to playing. They are going to be excited to play us; we are going to be excited to play them, too."
Both games this summer have grown chippy, and the Americans were downright furious Monday when Argentina's Facundo Campazzo punched Anthony in the groin as he was making a 3-pointer in front of their bench to cap off their shower of shots. But the U.S. players said they aren't expecting anything dirty Friday.
"No, I don't think they're stupid enough to do it again," Anthony said.
The winner will play either Russia or Spain on Sunday in the gold-medal game.
Anthony expects the Argentines to come out full of energy in one of the final appearances of the "Golden Generation," the core who led them to gold in 2004, silver in the '02 worlds, and a bronze in Beijing. Ginobili and Prigioni are 35, Scola is 32, and even they weren't sure they had another run in them after some shaky play during their exhibition schedule.
They were emotional after beating Brazil on Wednesday, remaining on the court long after the buzzer in celebration of a chance to leave the world stage with at least another bronze.
The Americans have higher goals — and expectations. They're supposed to come home with gold, making Friday's game more a must-win for them than for Argentina.
But Krzyzewski, who's coached against Scola and Ginobili as many times as he faces some college players at Duke, is ready for the kind of feistiness he's come to expect.
"They want to win, so I don't know how you measure how much somebody wants to win," Krzyzewski said. "But they want, they're not just showing up and happy. We'll give them our best shot and they'll give us their best shot, and that's what we expect. And I hope we give them what they expect and see what happens."
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