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“Dream Team” Vs “Team USA 2012″
By By Travis H. Singleton, BASN sports writer
Updated: August 4, 2012
BOSTON, MA (BASN)—Dream Team vs Team USA of 2012 has been one of the biggest discussions in the sports world as of late because, people are comparing the “Dream Team” to this years Team USA team that is competing in London this year. Most of my followers on Twitter and Facebook wanted to hear my input on this topic and I will say that I have gone back and forth with this and have come to the conclusion that the “Dream Team” will win and I will tell you why with match ups. It was hard because, the USA Team this year is very athletic and they are very quick compared too the “Dream Team”. So here is my analysis of the breakdown of why the “Dream Team” will win but it won’t be by 20+ like Pippen said.
Anthony Davis vs Christian Laettner –
Anthony Davis would win this match up right here because, he has guard skills as a big man and can actually affect a game defensively. Not saying that Laettner can’t but I believe that he was placed on the team for his miracle shot in the NCAA Championship. Anthony Davis actually add that shot blocking to the team that is needed when Laettner barely got playing time behind the twin towers of David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. Davis can give you the post presence and also is taller than Laettner which gives him an advantage and he also has better ball handling skills. Davis is 19 and playing at this high level and Laettner was 22 at that point in time and I give Davis more basketball IQ in this scenario. Davis was the main star on his college team and led his team and knows how to be a leader.
James Harden vs Chris Mullin -
This matchup goes to Chris Mullin for me because, he was a more efficient shooter in the league as the time and had the experience to handle any situation that came his way. James Harden just came off a terrible NBA Finals and also is only in the Olympics because, D-Wade and D.Rose are injured so I feel like he still has a way to go before he can actually guard someone like Mullin at that rate. Harden doesn’t have lock down defense and Mullin could shoot,drive and he also can create for other teammates. James Harden is a great player but I believe for him to outplay he would have to be lights out from the arc and also he would have to be a play maker but, with Lebron and Westbrook that part of his game will be lacking which gives Mullin an advantage.
Kevin Love vs David Robinson –
David Robinson has this matchup hands down to me when it comes to the center position in the league Robinson was one of the most legit big men in the NBA at that time. Robinson would out play Love without even trying in my eyes because, of his paint presence and also his athleticism and also his rebounding and blocking ability. Love is a great player that is in the right place at the right time for rebounds but, when it comes to dominating a game with your post game I believe Robinson would hold him to low points. If Love gets outside to the three point line then I think Robinson could be in a little bit of trouble but not much. Robinson’s arms are very long and also his foot work was incredible to the point he could out fake Love out of his sneakers. Robinson is what the league is lacking right now was always a great defender and also nice guy at the same time.
Andre Iguodala vs Scottie Pippen -
Talk about a landslide matchup this would definitely be it because, Pippen matched up against Igoudala would be trouble for Mr.AI. Pippen would lock him down easily because, it already takes AI some time to get open for his shot that’s a part of his game he is still trying to get down pack. AI showed some good progress this year but Pippen’s on ball defense would suffocate AI when ever he tried to go to the basket or if he tried to even tried to cross Pippen it wouldn’t work. Pippen also had a good post game and also he has a great move driving to the basket. AI wouldn’t be able to hold Pippen on the post or outside because, Pippen was too physical and would bully any opponent he was guarding blanketed them. AI has an advantage if he has a lot of fast break chances to keep up with Pippen but overall Pippen wouldn’t be considered one of the top 50 players in the NBA without his defense and his basketball IQ and studying his opponents every move before they knew they were going to do it.
Russell Westbrook vs Clyde Drexler –
Westbrook would get this matchup I don’t think that Drexler would be able to keep him in front of him defensively and it will cause trouble especially on the fast break. Westbrook has the quickness,passing, and the dribble drive with a nice pull up jumper which means he has a lot of tricks up his sleeve which I believe would be too much for Drexler to handle. Drexler has the height and also has a jumper and is a pure scorer but Westbrook has the offense and defense and is a player maker which Drexler was just offense to me. They are both great players but with Westbrook’s quickness and his impact on the offensive side I believe he will be able to keep up with Drexler and also his vertical jump is high enough for him to put his hand up to prevent Drexler from making every shot. Westbrook would keep him guessing and it wouldn’t be a good game for Drexler especially if Westbrook is in the zone making jumpers and getting to the basket with ease.
Carmelo Anthony vs Karl Malone -
Even though Carmelo is one of my favorite players I still believe the advantage in this one will go to Malone because, he was a great scorer and a great rebounder. Carmelo is going to shoot the ball no matter what as he is one of the most explosive scorers in the league today but, if he gets a hand in his face it will it could affect the shot and Malone has the length to do just so. I believe if Malone gets Carmelo on the post that the mail will be delivered with ease on Carmelo. Defense is the one place that I believe Carmelo has to improve and if Malone gets his back to the basket he will pull up for that jumper and hit it. Malone has the experience and also his will to win was always there even though he didn’t win a title. Carmelo is slightly shorter than Malone and that gives him the disadvantage because, he can’t do much of his moves the step back and his dribble drive it would be harder.
Deron Williams vs John Stockton -
Deron Williams would win this matchup just because, his role as a point guard is totally different from Stockton’s. Stockton just had to pass and pass and hit a couple shots when they were given to him. Deron Williams actually does it all to me and in my opinion he is the best point guard in the NBA because, he passes and gets his teammates involved and also can score. Williams will blow right by Stockton on a dribble drive and also his overall skills are no match for Stockton because it’s a new day and age for the point guard. I believe Williams would cross Stockton out of his sneakers and go right by him to score and it would force someone else to try to help on defense leaving Williams the chance to dish it to someone that will be trailing or in the corner for an easy score. Plus Williams has a serious size advantage that he can post him up if he wanted too so it wouldn’t even be fair in my eyes.
Tyson Chandler vs Patrick Ewing -
The battle of the New York centers would go to Patrick Ewing simply because, his offense was way better than Chandlers. They say defense wins games but in this situation they both play defense and you have to go with the one who is more skilled in the paint which is Ewing. Tyson has the put back dunks and also a little jump hook that works when it wants too but with Ewing playing defense he would have to make that jump hook a lot more or at least get a lot of put backs. Ewing could also pull him out the paint for his mid range jump shot that would open the paint more for one of his teammates to get the rebound if he missed. Overall Ewing is just a better fundamentally sound player and has more to offer in the games than Chandler does to me which is why I gave it to Ewing.
Chris Paul vs Magic Johnson -
Magic would win this matchup hands down 6-9 point guard that has the hook shot in his game and also has the ability to beat your team with just passing alone. Don’t get me wrong Chris is a great point guard but when it comes to the height disadvantage like that it will beat you any day. Chris is 6ft tall and loses ground to Magic in this one because, Magic could easily bring him to the post or take his nice jump shot. Even if Chris gets by Magic it still wouldn’t matter because of Magics reach he could still make up ground to be able to block Paul’s shot at the basket. They are both great passers but in basketball height advantage like that and with almost the same skills I have to give it to Magic. After everything he had gone through and for him to still hang in there and play at that high of a level you have to give it to him hands down.
Kevin Durant vs Larry Bird -
I love Larry Bird but in this matchup I have to go with Durant because, his height and his ability to get his shot off anytime he wants too and also his ability to get to the lane as easy as he can to score. Bird would not know what to do and wouldn’t know how to keep him in front of him at the ages they are at if they played each other. Durants quickness and athleticism is too much for Bird to guard and I believe it will be too tough. Bird has a great shot and also can make plays but, with Durants length I doubt Bird would do too much even though Durant needs to improve on his one on one defense and his rebounding I still have to go with him. Leading scorer in the NBA and with his youth it is hard for anyone to guard honestly and Bird was at the decline in his career around that time which gives this matchup to Durant even more.
Lebron James vs Charles Barkley -
Tough matchup but this goes to Lebron because, he is the most complete player that I have ever seen in the league and I believe that can would be able to beat Barkley off the dribble if he had too which would give him the advantage. Barkley and Lebron are similar in many ways both rebounded,scored and could pass so it would be real close in my opinion. Lebron has better play making skills and also is taller than Barkley which are also key to this matchup but, if you put Barkley in the paint with Lebron I think he would bang him up with elbows and lets not forget Barkley also stepped up to Shaq at one point so he is a tough cookie. I just have to go Lebron for his overall play and his will to win and if Lebron played how he did against OKC against Barkley you can forget about it. Lebron went to the basket and also was making shots that no one even imagined he would make and he did. Lebron is just a special player and he beats Barkley in this one on a individual level in my eyes.
Kobe Bryant vs Michael Jordan –
Everyone talks about Jordan and Kobe well I believe that Jordan will be the winner of this matchup and it is because, of his defense and his passing ability and it’s that simple. Kobe lacks in the defense and passing aspect of his game and thats what he is missing out on when it comes to their comparisons to me. Everyone has to remember that Jordan made players step up and play outside their roles like Kerr and Hodges and the list goes on. Jordan was MVP at the time to his team and the league and that leadership he brought with him to the Olympics and made him shine. So when you put Jordan on Kobe I believe he will shut down Kobe to the point Kobe would have about 20 points minimum and Jordan scoring at least 30+ on Kobe. Jordan would get his players and involved more and will show Kobe how to use the fadeaway jumper and also Kobe and Jordan’s ages are totally lopsided. This was a Jordan in his prime against a Kobe on the way out the door so you have to factor that in as well and age in the league a lot. If they were the same age it would probably be a different story but we will never know as of right now I’m sticking with Jordan because, he has the age,defense and also the passing over Kobe.
Overall Matchup – (7 Dream Team / 5 USA Team 2012)
At the end of the day their will never be another 1992 team and people say well what if Dwight,Dwade and D.Rose were there things could be different I still think the outcome will be the same. With Jordan on the team and his will and drive plus the big’s they had they would easily win to me. The “92″ team had lock down defenders and they had big men which our teams have been missing as of lately so that will be the reason why the Dream Team will continue to be that team that will be remembered forever. I believe that this will be the last year NBA players will be able to compete in the Olympics and if it is they are going out with style as they broke the record for most points in Olympic play as they scored 156 in a win against Nigeria and also Carmelo dropped 37 points in the win as he has the single game scoring record for the USA Olympic team.