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2012 Squad Could Handle the Dream Team

I have to get in on this Dream Team-2012 Team USA debate on which team is better.  Instead of just running off with my mouth as I would normally do, I opt instead to break things down from the rosters to the matchups.  After all, it’s all about Xs and Os.

Let’s examine this, shall we?

1992 Dream Team roster

  • Christian Laettner (I almost forgot his ass played)
  • David Robinson
  • Patrick Ewing
  • Larry Bird
  • Scottie Pippen
  • Michael Jordan
  • Clyde Drexler
  • Karl Malone
  • John Stockton
  • Chris Mullin
  • Charles Barkley
  • Magic Johnson

2012 USA Olympic Team

  • Chris Paul
  • Deron Williams
  • Kevin Durant
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Tyson Chandler
  • Kevin Love
  • Blake Griffin
  • Andre Iguodala
  • James Harden
  • LeBron James
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Carmelo Anthony
  • Anthony Davis

*Keep in mind that Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are unable to play because of injuries.

Let us then compare the starting lineups of both teams, along with the probable matchups:

Dream Team 2012 Team USA
Magic Johnson

Michael Jordan

Larry Bird

Charles Barkley

Patrick Ewing

LeBron James

Kobe Bryant

Carmelo Anthony

Kevin Durant

Tyson Chandler

So here is what we’ve got: an older Magic going against an athletic freak in James; an old-ass Bird with a creaky back matching up with Carmelo; and a tough, but undersized Barkley matching up with Durant on the perimeter.  The only advantages the Dream Team would have had were an MJ and Ewing in their primes.

Sure the Dream Team had Pippen, Malone, Drexler, Mullin, Robinson and  Stockton (all in their primes) coming off the bench.  And they could more than match up with Love, Paul, Westbrook, Harden, Williams and Iguodala – particularly when it comes to size.

However, the 2012 squad has something that the Dream Team didn’t have a lot of: versatility.  Chandler is the only pure center on the 2012 squad, which means the rest of the team can play any number of positions.  Plus all those players, except for Chandler, an shoot from almost anywhere from the floor.

And sure Pippen could defend ANY POSITION on the floor, but how about the rest of the Dream Team?  The only pure shooters the Dream Team had were Mullins and Stockton.  Bird’s back was too creaky to be that consistent third shooter.

Also keep in mind that a few of the Dream Team were grizzled vets.  The younger players may have been pure scorers but they played a more methodical game.  It was obvious they were coached by former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly.  His Pistons teams were tough grinders who rarely played up-tempo games.

Meanwhile Coach K has the 2012 squad running and gunning – consequences be damned.  It’s obvious that in order to beat this team you’d have to simply out-score and outrun them.  Good luck with that.

And sure the Dream Team was bigger and brawnier than the 2012 squad – so what?  All the 2012 boys would have to do is zone their asses on defense and spread the Dream Teamers out, screen and run them to death.  It’s as simple as that.  As I said before, the Dream Team only had two pure shooters.  A zone would rock the hell out of the Dream Team.

Here’s the deal: the Dream Team is the most celebrated Olympic squad for many reasons.  One, it’s arguably the most star-studded; two, because it was the most talented.

I’m just saying that this 2012 is the one team that would not be scared of them.  If Howard, Wade and Griffin were playing (hello, MORE versatility), it would not even be close.  It would be a blowout in the 2012 squad’s favor.

I’d guarantee it.

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