With the Redeem Team bringing back the Gold Medal and restoring order in the Basketball universe this past weekend, it got me and I am sure a lot of you thinking, could the Redeem Team hang with the Dream Team?
First thought is, "Of course not. That team had Jordan, Bird, Magic, and Barkley. They dominated everyone."
After giving it some more thought though, the Dream Team had no where near as difficult of competition to go up against as the Redeem Team did, and the Redeem Team blew everyone out except Spain in the gold medal game. The Redeem Team also is a more athletic team than even the Dream Team. The Dream Team would have a hard time keeping them from running. I would also argue that the Redeem Team is a better defensive team. The Dream Team may have held their opponents to fewer points but, for example, the Angola of 1992 and the Angola of 2008 are no where near the same team.
Chris Sheridan made a great chart comparing the two teams team statistics:
|Dream Team vs. Redeem Team|
|Opponent FG pct||36.5||40.3|
|3-pt FG pct||40.0||37.7|
|Opponent 3-pt pct||30.5||29.9|
|Assists per game||29.9||18.8|
|Steals per game||22.1||12.5|
|Blocks per game||5.9||3.9|
Based on those numbers you would say that the Dream Team is far more dominant, but I would say that those teams look pretty even when you factor in the talent of the competition.
This is good and all but at the end of the day, this is just a fun bar discussion because the teams themselves could never play.
Well with the help of the WhatIfSports.com, I made the Dream Team vs the Redeem Team matchup and simulated a 7 game series between the two teams.
The Dream Team won the series 4 games to 1.
- Game 1 was a close one with the Dream Team winning 110-108. The Dream Team used a very balanced attack to pull out the 2 point win. Larry Bird led the way with 20, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson added 16 apiece. Kobe led the way with 18 for the Redeem Team.
- The Redeem Team used a 74 point second half to win Game 2 115-105. LeBron had 23, Carmelo added 20, and Dwayne Wade chipped in with 17. Jordan scored 25, Barkley had 24, and Magic added 19. No other Dream Teamer scored in double figures.
- Game 3 was another tight one, but the Dream Team won the 4th quarter by 7 to take game 3 110-108. Kobe had a huge game, scoring 34 points but the Dream Team's balanced attack of Jordan (20), Magic (19), Barkley (18), and Bird (12) closed the door to give the Dream Team the 2-1 series lead.
- The Dream Team flexed their muscles in game 4 to the tune of a 116-105 victory. Michael, Magic, and Larry led the way once again as the Dream Team lead by 21 going into the 4th quarter.
- The Dream Team closed out the series in dominant fashion with a 111-99 victory over the Redeem Team. Michael Jordan showed why he is the greatest closer in the history of the game by scoring 31 points while Patrick Ewing added a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds.