With a 98-71 opening-game victory over France, the United States’ men’s basketball team appears to be solidly on its way to gold medal contention.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant led Team USA with 22 points, while Minnesota forward Kevin Love and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The team will next take on Tunisia on July 31 and is expected to handily defeat that team, as well.
With as much NBA star power as it contains, Team USA often looks like won’t be stopped.
Although there aren’t any Utah Jazz players on this year’s Olympic team doesn’t mean we can’t infuse a little Jazz into the spirit of the Games.
Dream Team Comparison
In the weeks leading up to the Summer Olympics in London, Bryant stirred the pot by comparing the current version of Team USA to the 1992 Dream Team.
Not only did Bryant compare the teams, he went so far as to predict this team could beat the Hall-of-Fame-laden squad that took the gold home in Barcelona 20 years ago.
The original Dream Team had future Hall of Famers—and Jazz players—Karl Malone and John Stockton and won its Olympics matchups by an average of 43.8 points.
Most basketball fans have an opinion about which team would win in a game between the 1992 Dream Team and 2012 Team USA, but there’s no way we’ll ever know.
Comparing teams from different eras is a futile, but fun, endeavor, so let’s try it with the Utah Jazz.
Utah Jazz Comparison
Today’s assignment, class, is to consider how the 1997-98 Jazz—which lost to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals—would fare against the current Jazz squad.
If you’re a Utah Jazz fan over the age of 10 and don’t remember Utah’s NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, turn in your fan card immediately.
For the rest of you, consider the starting lineups for each squad for the first part of this exercise.
The 2012-13 Jazz’ starting lineup is still up in the air, so for this argument’s sake, we’ll use Yahoo! Sports’ depth chart.
- Karl Malone F Paul Millsap
- Bryon Russell F Marvin Williams
- Greg Ostertag C Al Jefferson
- Jeff Hornacek G Gordon Hayward
- John Stockton G Mo Williams
We’ll take a closer look and analyze each player matchup next time, but in the meantime, class, your assignment is to sound off about which team you think would win and why.
Personally, I don’t think the winner would be as clear cut as we might think, but that’s just my first impression.
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