The Boomers are inching towards a best-case scenario of the worst possible quarter-final showdown at the Olympic Games after defeat by Spain on Tuesday.
World No.2 Spain's comfortable 82-70 victory in their men's basketball Group B match leaves Australia winless in their opening two matches.
Though there are three group games remaining for the Boomers, it puts a fourth place finish in their group - and a possible quarter-final showdown with the United States Dream Team - into serious play.
And it may be their only alternative to emerge from their six-team group and qualify for the second stage.
Spain's NBA superstar Pau Gasol and two-guard Rudy Fernandez ran a truck over the Boomers, while Australia's shooting was awful - especially from the perimeter.
The Boomers went with the star-studded Spaniards - rated the only serious threat to a US gold medal - for the first quarter and a good chunk of the second with their defence a feature.
But trailing 37-32 at halftime, the Boomers paid for their waste from outside, with an early 10-0 Spanish run iced by threes to Rudy Fernandez and Gasol putting the game out of reach.
Fernandez, who needed treatment late in the first half after crashing into a photographer, then started clicking off the threes as Spain flexed their muscle to show they will test the US if they meet in the gold medal match.
But while Spain were downing threes at will - Australia's perimeter shooting was taking a siesta as star guard Patty Mills and his teammates had off days from outside.
The Boomers managed just four of 24 shots from outside the arc at 17 per cent, with Mills zero of five.
Australia only managed 10 points for the entire third term, giving Spain an unassailable 21-point lead at the final break.
While the Boomers rallied late to close to within 10 points in the final two minutes, the game was already lost.
Swingman Joe Ingles played a virtual lone hand for the Boomers with 12 points and six rebounds, while Brad Newley tipped in 12 and Mills 11.
Los Angeles Lakers star Gasol was exceptional with 20 points for Spain, while Fernandez finished with 17 points on four-of-five three-point shooting.
The Boomers' next match is on Thursday against China, who have also lost both their matches, with the loser having no hope of making the second stage.