Australia's best-credentialled Boomers outfit face a shock early World Cup exit unless they can quieten a confident Japan and their rowdy Okinawa home crowd.
The clash is a must-win for both countries if they're to move onto the second group stage after both sides beat Finland, but lost to Germany in earlier round robin games.
The Tokyo bronze medallists entered the tournament as equal-second favourites behind powerhouse USA after assembling a squad featuring an Australian-record nine NBA players.
Sunday's 85-82 loss to Germany has stung Brian Goorjian's side though, who will wear the scars of that result even if they progress given first-round points carry over to the next stage.
Lose on Tuesday and they'll enter the 17-32 classification zone, a far cry from the fourth place in China four years ago when they gave up huge leads in both the semi-final and bronze medal game.
Japan will be buoyant too after Yuki Kawamura dropped 15 of his 25 points in the final quarter, the hosts coming from 18 points down to beat Finland in front of a heaving crowd.
"They're good team," Boomers co-captain Joe Ingles said.
"They press, play a lot of zone and, playing in Japan, they've got a home crowd there.
"We'll watch a bit of film and get ready for it.
"This (loss to Germany) is frustrating and disappointing but it's over with now."
Former Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis barely looked outside his core of nine players in China four years ago, when Cameron Gliddon, Nathan Sobey and David Barlow played less than seven minutes between them all tournament.
It eventually told on a tired side in gutting losses to Spain and France that extended the wait for a maiden international medal.
But now coach Goorjian, who piloted them to bronze in Tokyo, has options and admits he's still figuring out how to best use them.
Josh Green and Xavier Cooks could see more court time after the coach admitted only a lack of match fitness was holding them back.
Centre Duop Reath caught fire in the third quarter against Germany but was benched for the final quarter when Australia coughed up the first 10 points.
Japan-based forward Nick Kay struggled in that decisive passage while Dante Exum was excellent in the third term before Goorjian returned to first-choice guard Josh Giddey.
Chris Goulding and Dyson Daniels didn't feature against Germany but possess offensive and defensive weapons respectively.
Jack White didn't attempt a shot and had four turnovers in almost 10 minutes against Germany while Matisse Thybulle was also quiet in the loss.
Goorjian also took aim at the officiating after Ingles said there were a number of "really obvious calls" missed.
However the Boomers made just nine of 16 free throws in the three-point loss and Goorjian was equally as scathing of their costly slow start that saw them trailing 8-0.