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Dream Team vs. 2012 USA Team: A Look At The Numbers

Before the Olympic basketball tournament started just over two weeks ago, players from this years team like Kobe Bryant confidently proclaimed that they would beat the famed 1992 Dream Team. Most fans and media members including myself didn't agree with their assessment, but the 2012 squad does have a lot of talent. While I don't think the Dream Team would blow them out, I do think they had significantly more talent than this years squad. If they were to play in a seven game series, I would take the Dream Team 4-1.

The main argument the current players seemed to make was that they were younger, more athletic, and that the 1992 team were all on the downside of their career; simply not true. The average age of the 1992 team was 28, the average age of this years team was 26. The average NBA experience the players had was seven NBA seasons for both teams. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were past their prime, but the other 10 guys were by no means old and washed up. They're fairly even on the perimeter with multiple Hall of Famers on both sides, but down in the post is where the Dream Team wins in a landslide. The 2008 "Redeem Team" would actually be a better matchup for the Dream Team because this years squad just doesn't have enough size down low. The Dream Team had Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, David Robinson, and Patrick Ewing in the front court; the 2012 team has Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler. Even if Kobe Bryant and LeBron James cancel out Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler; they'd still get killed in the post. On some level it's hard to compare the two teams because the size and speed of athletes change over 20 years, but if I believe if you put those players in today's game with the better nutrition and workout programs today's players have, they would adapt and be just as good now as they were then

Stats don't lie...

Average Margin Of Victory:

1992 Team - 43.75
2012 Team - 32.1

Closest Game:

1992 Team - 33 point win over Croatia in Gold Medal Game
2012 Team - 5 points vs. Lithuania, 7 points vs. Spain

Field Goal Percentage:

1992 - .578%
2012 - .523%

Opponent Field Goal Percentage:

1992 Opponents FG%- .365%
2012 Opponents FG% - .454%

Assist To Turnover Per Game:

1992 Team - 29.9 assists/8.3 turnovers
2012 Team - 25 assists/9.8 turnovers

NBA Titles:

1992 Team - 12
2012 Team - 7 (5 from Kobe)

Nothing wrong with being confident, but the 2012 team is in no way better than the 1992 Dream Team.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.