Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dream Teams

Any discussion of whether the 2012 Men's Olympic Basketball team could beat the 1992 original Dream Team is founded on our being impressed with the great play of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and especially Lebron James. Who could beat them, we wonder.

The question is otherwise silly.  Imagining Tyson Chandler playing against Patrick Ewing and David Robinson is all you need to do to know that.  And I really like Tyson Chandler on this team, BTW.

The only way we can make the question at all interesting is trying to imagine who on the current team could even make the team in 1992. If only six could, unless this distributed evenly in minutes played across the lineup, then that would mean only a break-even point.

And we'd still have those matchup problems.  So to make the case at all, you would have to identify at least seven from the current team who could take a roster spot from a 1992 player.  The first part is easy, and I will do it for you.  Shaq should have been chosen instead of Laettner, and that would have made the decision more difficult, but he wasn't, so Christian is gone.  Magic and Bird were well past their primes - Johnson had already retired, however prematurely - and were on the squad for their PR value.  So take them out, too.

Those are your spots for Lebron, Kobe, and Durant.  Now try and find four more.  Start simply.  Try and find one.  Paul, Williams, or Westbrook over John Stockton (or maybe pushing a forward out, such as Mullin)?  Carmelo over Drexler?


Wyman said...

They answered this question on ESPN the same way recently. I honestly can't imagine them pulling Bird or Magic from that team, even though they were past their primes. In fact, Bird had just played his last season - but it was a season in which he put up 20-10-7 averages and shot 40% from the arc. Not a bad way to go out. Magic? 19-7-12.5. Not a line to be trifled with either.

I think Drexler, Laettner, and Mullin would be out, and Durant, LeBron and Kobe would be in. Stockton was just 29 and had just led the NBA in steals (3) and assists (13.7). No way he goes out for Chris Paul or Carmelo.

You could talk me in to Chris Paul over Bird. Maybe. Not definitely. That's it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

If Magic is still in, then the need for another PG is no longer strong, and Paul's value recedes.

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