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Boomers start low, aim high at Rio Games

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(AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Patty Mills isn't about to distance the Boomers from Kitty Chiller's bold call Australia were eying a first basketball gold medal in Rio.

Patty Mills didn't miss a beat when his Olympic chief boldly predicted the Boomers were set to claim gold in Rio.

"You have to believe to compete," was the star guard's reaction to Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller's ambitions for his basketball team.

But Mills says any fantasies of knocking over the USA Dream Team would be put to waste if they don't focus on the first two assignments at the Rio Games.

In an advantage to their semi-final hopes, the Boomers have the Americans in their pool and are drawn to play them third.

But lying in wait first are France, containing Mills' San Antonio Spurs teammate and mentor Tony Parker among a number of NBA players, and the equally tough Serbia.

"They're huge," Mills said.

Lose to both, or even either, then it's a tough, tough road to the last four.

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Description: Australian chef de mission Kitty Chiller (centre) looks on with Basketballers Damien Martin (left) and Patrick Mills (right) during an Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) press conference at the Rio Olympic Games Main Press Centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug.2, 2016. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

Giving Mills extra belief is the Boomers' performances against world No.4 Argentina and China in the past week, which bookended heavy defeats to Lithuania and Brazil.

"It was great preparation for us against some powerhouse teams," he said.

"These games were really good for us to play against good quality, physical defence and there's no doubt that over those games we've really grown as a team and we know what it takes for us to be able to achieve something that we haven't done before."

But they will have to do it with their big-name centre, Andrew Bogut, carrying a dicky knee.

Bogut surprised many by making it out on to the court at Sao Paulo against China but was still influential in the key.

"He's not going to be 100 per cent, nor was he going into the game as well," Mills said. "Just the presence having him out on the floor in his jersey is great for us."

© AAP 2016