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FIBA Oceania Championship Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis wary of familiar Tall Blacks ahead of FIBA Oceania Championship

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis is wary of a settled New Zealand team ahead of the FIBA Oceania Championship opener in Melbourne on Saturday.

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play (Omni Sports)

Australia coach Andrej Lemanis is wary of a settled New Zealand team ahead of the FIBA Oceania Championship opener in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Boomers host the Kiwis at Rod Laver Arena in the first of two games in a tournament that also serves as qualifying for Rio 2016.

At Lemanis' disposal are multiple NBA players, including the likes of Golden State Warriors centre Andrew Bogut, Cleveland Cavalier Matthew Dellavedova and San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills.

While they have been brought together - Mills as a replacement for the injured Dante Exum - New Zealand are far more settled.

The Tall Blacks have three New Zealand Breakers - Mika Vukona, Corey Webster and Thomas Abercrombie - in their squad.

That makes Lemanis wary of what New Zealand, who are without Oklahoma City Thunder centre Steven Adams, are capable of.

"That group plays together as the New Zealand Breakers for a lot of the year so they've played together for eight months," he said on Thursday.

"In essence, it's a group that has played a season together which allows you to develop those understandings of how to make your offence and defence more effective."

The specifics, Lemanis said, were New Zealand's ability to create easy points, get hot from three-point range and their offensive rebounding.

In a positive for Australia, Mills answered the call after Exum's knee injury, which could rule the Utah Jazz man out of the 2015-16 NBA season.

Lemanis said Australia would take a "smart" approach with Mills and believes the 27-year-old was already growing into his role.

"Patty was great and even better today, just obviously again managing him back into competitive basketball," he said.

"The physios are really happy with his ability to manage the load and the contact and all those sorts of things and there's no doubt the quality he brings to the group in terms of not only his ability to play the game, but his IQ gives him an opportunity to help others be better."

Game two of the series will be played in Wellington on Tuesday.

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