The Dream Team vs. Team USA 2012

there have been debates about who is better than who, and some bantering back and forth even between players. ESPN commentators have gotten in on the action, and debates are getting pretty testy and heated.  so th is is my opinion of it.  first i’ll name the players for each team.

Dream Team- Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, Isaiah Thomas, and Christian Laettner.

Team USA 2012- LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Andre Iguodala, Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Anthony Davis, and Tyson Chandler

the most obvious advantage that the 1992 dream team has over team USA 2012 is the plethora of big men.  the had ewing, robinson, malone, and even christian laettner (although he doesn’t really count).  2012 has tyson chandler and i’d say kevin love.  so i think the rebounding advantage goes to the dream team, with their big men and charles barkley, who was a rebounding machine.  i would also have to say, pippen and MJ weren’t bad rebounders themselves.  but what 2012 lacks in size, they make up in versatility.  this is a more balanced squad.  lebron is one of the best rebounders today, and while none of the other members are standouts, they all are pretty good.  in terms of athleticism, i think team USA 2012 has an edge, although the dream have big and fast dudes as well.  blake griffin is pretty limited offensively, and doesn’t really play D, something that malone and barkley did extremely well.  the dream team definitely takes this category.

the dream team had the best player ever, MJ, with a couple of absolute legends in magic and bird.  but i feel that the trio of kobe, lebron, and kevin durant could compete with them.  kobe would definitely have his hands full with MJ, and jordan would also be busy stopping kobe.  but MJ wins that battle.  lebron i feel is better than magic in every way except passing ability.  magic johnson was the invention of the tall point guard, and lebron is magic 2.0 with loads of scoring.  lebron is my favorite player, so i could be a bit biased.  but lebron now has post moves, can rebound better than magic, score better than magic, plays better defense, blocks and steals better than magic, and just an overall better player.  and he’s not a slouch when it comes to passing.  also, magic hadn’t played in a year, and bird had a really bad back.  so kevin durant could take him with ease.

2012 is more of a guard team, and even the “big” men have guard skills.  kevin love and durant both possess 3 point range, as well as carmelo and even anthony davis (as we saw yesterday).  that’s something barkley, malone, and pippen didn’t really have.  maybe pippen, and definitely mullin, but that’s it.  mullin’s shooting right now is a little better or even with kevin durant, but the difference is that kevin durant can do multiple things and score in many different ways.  mullin was mainly a shooter, a great one at that.  but durant and drive, penetrate, pull up from the midrange, make a 30 foot layup, among other things.  and durant’s only 23.  just remember that.  there is a need to spread the floor with shooting, and team USA 2012 does that better than the dream team.

with guard play, i think if matched up today, team USA 2012 would take that also.  they’re just more explosive, more athletic, and more versatile than the dream team guards.  westbrook, williams, paul, harden, and iguodala can simply outplay stockton, magic, and drexler with their D as well, although it wouldn’t be easy.  the most athletic of the dream team is clyde.  paul can take care of stockton, and they would match well together, as they are both smart players and calculate each move precisely.  there is just no one to match up with westbrook, as much as i dislike him and his attitude.  iguodala would struggle with magic, but harden would be there to help, and team USA 2012 play better team D than the dream team.

overall, team USA i think has an advantage over the dream team, just because of the way the game is played today, and the physical gifts that they possess.  the big men of the dream team have a huge advantage, and they have MJ, but team USA is just so balanced and versatile.  so if i had to bet on a team, it would be team USA.

also, anthony davis has made more of an impact than christian laettner did in 1992.

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