Many see the German team as having reached rock bottom when considering the mediocre performances over the past two years.
"James played well and he's going to keep improving," the Portuguese said. "He was trying to get his goal today, but with 15 minutes left it seemed important to me to give him a rest.
"I don't have much to say but that I was completely overplayed by Rafa, by a better player on the court," said Djokovic in the post-match conference.
Among the newcomers are Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz and Atletico Madrid left-back Renan Lodi, both of whom belied their lack of international experience with assured performances at Corinthians Arena.
Iran sits third in Group C behind Iraq and Bahrain. Enditem
Argentina have won in La Paz only once in the past 25 years, when they overcame La Verde 2-1 in March 2005. Enditem
Team play was lacking but at least the defense was doing its job by keeping the lurking Scots away from the penalty box. As a result, the first half did not produce a single shot a goal on either side.
Veteran playmaker Thiago Neves pulled a goal back for the hosts by nodding home after a Luciano Batista cross.
He added, "Tokyo continues to be the best prepared Olympic city. The health and safety of all concerned remain our top priority."
The Slovaks were inches away from taking the lead in the 75th minute when Dalian Yifang midfielder Marek Hamsik sent a great pass to Lukas Haraslin who beat Randolph but was denied by Ireland captain Shane Duffy.
Wan Jiyuan led Zhejiang with 25 points. Huang Jiali bagged 22 before fouling out with 3:39 remaining. Wang Jiaqi had 15 points and 11 assists.