LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12: Pau Gasol #16 and Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers react in the second quarter while taking on the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant and Team USA will finish its tuneup schedule with Pau Gasol and the Spanish national team on Tuesday.
The London Olympics will get underway later this week, but Team USA has undertaken a rather extensive exhibition schedule as it prepares for this year's summer games. That schedule continues on Tuesday with another televised game (ESPN2, 4:30 p.m. ET), this time featuring a pair of Los Angeles Lakers teammates as Kobe Bryant faces off against Pau Gasol and the rest of Spain's best players.
It'll be an excellent test for both teams as the USA plays its final tune-up game before beginning its actual Olympic schedule against France on Sunday morning. Team USA is 5-1 against Spain since the 1992 Olympics -- America's last big win against the Spaniards came in the gold medal game at the 2008 Olympics -- but a matchup against the second-ranked team is not to be overlooked.
Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski noted as much, too, following the team's victory over Argentina.
"We're obviously excited about the game," Mike Krzyzewski said. "Playing against Spain, a championship-level team, World champs in 2006, silver medalist in Beijing ... They're just one of the top teams. It gives us the opportunity before the Olympics to play the toughest game that we could play which should help us in our preparation."
It should help in their preparation but, more than that, it'll provide yet another difficult test following Team USA's wins over Argentina and Brazil already this month. If the Americans get past yet another tough matchup, the games won't seem quite as daunting when the games start mattering this weekend.