Tag Archives: Olympics

Getting to know: Sasha Kaun

Casual Cavalier fans know and recognize names like James, Irving, Love and even Dellevadova. Today my goal is to introduce a name into the conversation that otherwise has been left out: Kaun

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 5: Sasha Kaun #14 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball during the game against the Miami Heat on December 5, 2015 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images
MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 5: Sasha Kaun #14 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball during the game against the Miami Heat on December 5, 2015 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Sasha Kaun is a 6’11”, 250 pound center from Russia that signed with the Cavs late in the summer of 2015. He most recently played for CSKA Moscow winning five championships with them.

He has other connections to this team as well. He played for Coach David Blatt in the 2012 London Olympics where they finished with the bronze in basketball.

The casual fans are now thinking “I know that guy! He is tall and doesn’t talk a lot and rides a bear in that commercial!” Sorry, we are talking about the other Cavs center from Russia this time.

The primary reason you have not heard of Kaun is because he has only played in a handful of games during this regular season. He DID get some regular playing time in the preseason but that feels like a lifetime ago at this point.

After playing several years overseas, there are aspects of the NBA game that Kaun has struggled with adjusting to. Certainly the speed and size of the opponents are enough to throw off anyone coming from the European style of competition, but even things such as the size of the court (which is wider in the NBA than Euroleague) and the fact that the three point line is further from the basket, have frustrated the near seven footer.

Kaun is accustomed to running the pick and roll from his previous team but he has acknowledged that he is used to being closer to the basket after setting his pick and has had to retrain his brain to match the required timing of the new distance.

At the start of the season, Timofey Mozgov (the aforementioned bear jockey) was the starting center for the team. He has not been sharp and reliable since that time and has been replaced, rightfully so in my book, by the more versatile Tristan Thompson.

Mozgov is losing value nearly every time he steps on the court. I think it would be wise to give those minutes to Kaun, if only to see what you’ve got to work with.

I’m sure he is getting plenty of reps at the training facility in Independence, but I also think that we can agree that playing in an actual game is much more telling of a players potential. Like Mozgov, I am sure that Kaun is benefitting from some mentorship from former Cavalier big, Vitaly Potopenko.

Perhaps it is time to shift some of Potopenko’s focus to Kaun in lieu of Mozgov. Kaun was signed to a fairly meager deal compared to the rest of the roster so what do we have to lose?

I hope that Blatt can look past the adjustments that Kaun needs to make and see that over many seasons in Russia he shot 70.4 percent and even in the meager amount of minutes and opportunities during this season he has shot 60 percent.

Kaun may never be a starter in this league but I think he can be a solid contributor off of the bench after he works out some of the kinks. Here’s hoping the Cavaliers invest some minutes in the big man and try to get a good return on their investment.

A look at the Cleveland Cavaliers new head coach, David Blatt

The David Blatt NBA era has officially begun. One of the most successful coaches in Europe has agreed to become the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Blatt hiring will initially be questioned–and critiqued by some casual fans–because of his non-existent NBA coaching experience, but Blatt’s coaching style and philosophy fits exactly what GM David Griffin is looking for.

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The hiring of Blatt also makes it clear that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is allowing Griffin to do his job. Gilbert has been accused of meddling too much in the basketball decisions of the franchise and overruling the GM and front office, but it appears that Griffin was able to go out and get his guy. Griffin has preached how he wants the Cavs to have a certain “fit” and “system” in place, so this hiring bodes well for that if the Cavs can add the right pieces through the draft and free agency.

Most NBA fans probably just heard the name David Blatt for the first time this month, so let’s take a look at the Cavs new head coach. The 55-year-old Massachusetts native played basketball at Princeton from 1977-1981 under Pete Carril. He also won a gold medal with the USA national team at the Maccabiah Games in 1981. Blatt then went on to play in Israel’s Super League. He played professional basketball from 1981-1993 before embarking on his illustrious coaching career.

Blatt won Israeli Coach of the Year in 1996, 2002, 2011 and 2014. He’s a six-time Israeli Cup Champion (2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). He’s a five-time Israeli League Champion (2002, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2014). He’s also been a FIBA EuroChallenge Champion (2005), Italian League Champion (2006), Italian Cup Champion (2007), Adriatic League Champion (2012) and Euroleague Champion (2014). In Blatt’s past four seasons with Maccabi Tel Aviv, he’s posted a record of 222-55, and coached the Russian national team to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

Blatt has had a longtime goal of coaching in the NBA and is the first coach to make the transition from Europe to the NBA as a head coach. Blatt beat out Los Angeles assistant coach Tyronn Lue for the head coaching position. It was reported that new Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wanted Blatt as his assistant, so the Cavs had to act fast yesterday in order for Griffin to get his guy.

Seemingly everyone who knows or has played for Blatt refers to him as an offensive genius. He incorporates the Princeton offense that he orchestrated as the point guard at Princeton and adds his own variants to it. His teams prioritize ball-movement–with and without the ball–and getting the optimal shot. You may have heard of the San Antonio Spurs; a team who has perfected a similar offensive philosophy. One could almost say that Blatt has been the Gregg Popovich of Europe. Almost.

Blatt has also been known to get the most out of his players and command respect. I have yet to see any of his former players, colleagues or basketball acquaintances say one negative thing about him. Blatt has built a career out of getting the most out of his rosters, no matter the talent. It will be very interesting to see what he can do with a team of NBA talent, led by Kyrie Irving. This should also be a welcomed change for the Cavs players, as they should be able to play more freely and get open shots within the offensive system.

Another positive is that Blatt isn’t just an offensive-minded coach. His defensive has been mightily praised as well. During FIBA competition, Blatt’s Russia teams were said to be stronger defensively than offensively. It’ll be nice to have a coach who values both ends of the floor for a change.

Even though Blatt has had tremendous success in Europe and is highly regarded in every basketball circle, he will still have to prove himself in the NBA. Taking over a very young team full of rich NBA players might be his toughest task yet, but if he can get everyone to buy into his system, it could also be his best.

Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Blatt and the Cavs agreed on a four-year, $20 million deal. Although ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported that the fourth year is a team option.

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Looking back at the Olympic Hockey tournament…the good, the bad and the ugly.

Now that another Olympic Tournament is behind us and with all due respect to my US friends, as well as enjoying the results this week I want to share some observations about the tournament, past and future, including some thoughts on where we might see Olympic Hockey go over the next Olympiad.

Wasn’t it nice to see games played without any of the riff-raff tactics we now see in the North American game and even more so, wasn’t it nice to see games over in two hours fifteen minutes or less?  It makes the Olympics worth waiting for.

As a Canadian I have to say that the results in both the men’s and women’s events at Sochi were extremely satisfying, even though the two gold medals were won in very different ways.

The Canadian women found themselves behind (deservedly) 0-2 to a very good US team in the final and then came to life late in regulation time and overtime for a thrilling edge of your seat 3-2 win.  Let’s be clear, the USA did not lose this game.  The Canadians won it.  Even though we all expect a USA-Canada final in this event, we still enjoy the excitement that the games between these two great countries bring.

The Canadian men won their medal somewhat differently, both in terms of the way they won it and the dominating game they played in the final against the Swedes. Winning the gold medal game was much easier than any of us would have ever thought possible and clearly there were a few games prior to the final that were tougher tests.

Throughout the tournament, Canada never trailed in a game and they conceded only three goals in the entire tournament. They proved that they could win a gold medal on the larger International sized ice-surfaces. Going into the tournament, most Canadians felt that the team’s weakness was in goal, as neither Carey Price nor Roberto Luongo had done anything to put our minds at ease.  Price had two shutouts and Luongo one over the course of the tournament. Many of us thought that Canada would win most of its games 6-3, 7-4 or 8-5 based on doubts about goaltending coupled with the offensive power that was selected.  That offensive power so was so good (on paper) that last year’s leading scorer in the league (Martin St. Louis) wasn’t even on the original roster and was only added after Steven Stamkos’ broken leg had not healed sufficiently to allow him to play.  St. Louis played well when called upon and after dressing but not playing against the USA in the semi-finals, he played an excellent game against the Swedes.

Canada could have lost to Latvia when an unheard Latvian goalie made 55 saves in a 2-1 Canada win.  Ironically, the Latvian goalie (Kristers Gudlevskis), is in the Tampa Bay Lightning farm system, so Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman likely watched the game with a few mixed feelings.

The semi-final game against the USA was the first real test for Canada against a team stocked with NHL players.  For the first time in the tournament, Canada was not playing against a team that was trying to defend and defend, hoping to keep the game close, get a break and sneak out a win.  Team USA had a similar style to the Canadian team and no one was surprised at the quality and fast pace of that game.

In the final Canada played a dominant, methodical, disciplined game, recognizing Sweden’s lack of fire-power, waiting for a chance to grab a lead and then defend it.  The third period was masterful; perhaps the best clock management we will see for quite some time. If any of us believe in omens, the first goal of the Gold Medal game provided one.  Jonathan Toews scored the first goal at 12:55 of the first period.  In the 2010 Gold Medal game, Toews scored the first goal of the game at 12:50 of the first period. Those of us who are superstitious had a good feeling right there.

In looking back at other performances over the course of the tournament, surely Russia and the USA were the teams where more was expected and Latvia was the unexpected surprise.  Russia was the host nation, had built much of their Olympic programme on their hockey team doing well and for a while it looked like they were going to be there late in the tournament.  However, after a shootout loss to the USA in the round robin, the Russians seemed to lose focus, struggled to beat Slovakia in their last round-robin game and then came up extremely flat against the Finns/Swedes.  The US suffered a similar fate after losing a tight game to Canada in the semi-finals.  They looked very ordinary and totally disinterested against the Finns in the Bronze medal game. Latvia came within a Canadian mistake or a Latvian lucky bounce of scoring what might have been the biggest upset in Olympic hockey since 1980’s Miracle on Ice.  Most hockey fans had only heard of one Latvian player, Sandis Ozolinsh a 41 year old defenseman now playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, who had actually retired in 2009.

One of the more disappointing outcomes of the games was the number of star players that were either unfit to play in the tournament or suffered serious injuries during the tournament.  We have already mentioned Canada’s Steven Stamkos, but other big names that didn’t play were Finland’s Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula, and Sweden’s Henrik Sedin.  After the games started, Finland lost Aleksander Barkovwe, Sweden lost Henrik Zetterberg, Russia lost Pavel Datsyuk and Canada lost John Taveres, all quality players. Zetterberg and Taveres are out for at least the balance of their team’s regular season. In addition to these “stars”, other teams lost players to injury. Will this cause NHL owners and the NHL Players Association re-think future Olympic participation?

The Olympic movement also needs to take a look at the matter of over the counter drugs and the part they play in the Olympics.  Case in point is the unfortunate situation surrounding Sweden’s Nicklas Backstrom, who found out shortly before the Gold Medal game that he was ineligible to play because he had tested positive for an ingredient in Claritin (or a similar medication) that he was supposedly taking for allergies……….an ongoing condition.  With the two Henriks (Sedin and Zetterberg) already out, the loss of Backstrom left Sweden short three centres and three scorers.  Let’s give Backstrom the benefit of the doubt and buy into the fact that he really does suffer from allergies and he needs the medication.  When you have 2,800 athletes come together, live in a relatively small village for 17 days, it is only natural to assume that someone is bringing germs in from somewhere and that they will spread.  I believe it’s time for the International Olympic Committee to establish some sort of central medical office where athletes who require medication for legitimate illnesses/conditions while at the Games can obtain clearance from a neutral doctor to take such over the counter medications without fear of suspension. There was a flu bug going around the women’s curling teams, so much so that many players missed one or more games and the teams didn’t shake hands before and after the games (a long time curling tradition) so as to limit the exchange of germs.  Undoubtedly a well-run clinic would cost money, but if the integrity of the games is important, so is the athletes health and if the Russians can spend $51 Billion getting Sochi ready, what’s a few extra hundreds of thousands of dollars?

What does the future hold? On top of NHL teams (and players) being wary of injuries at the Olympics, there are other things to consider.  For a long time, there was talk that the NHL would not want its players going to Russia to compete in 2014.  Time differences between Sochi and North America (Sochi is seven hours ahead of the North American Eastern Time Zone) as well as the location were possible sticking points.  Winter Olympians will next gather in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea and that poses another problem.  In addition to the time difference (Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of the North American Eastern Time Zone), South Korea is not exactly a hockey hotbed, so it is questionable how much interest there will be in Olympic hockey in 2018.  The players and the owners may just decide to give it a pass.  They would have a good excuse for passing.  The 2022 venue won’t be chosen until the summer of 2015, so it may be a while before we see NHL players at the Olympics again.  It is entirely possible that by the next time professional players are at the Olympic Hockey tournament, most of those that went in 2014 won’t be around to make a repeat appearance.

So it may be a while before we see NHL players at the Olympics again. NHL owners will say that is good.  Fans will say it is bad.

Biased Observer in 100 Words or Less

A couple of weeks ago, I agreed that it was a good idea for me to get back into the writing game and do some work for Wednesday mornings. Balancing podcasts and writing and day-to-day stuff for the More Than a Fan Digital Network takes a lot of energy, and it was always the writing portion of the program that kept getting pushed to the back burner.

Until Damien, who does more than I do around here, sent me an IM about alternating the Wednesday morning publishing slot. He told me I should bring back my old Biased Observer series and get back to pounding keys.

“I’ll do it!” I said.

“Good. You go first, I’m busy that week,” he said.

Imagine the look I’m giving you right now about that. Anyway, I told myself all the right things about returning to the keyboard on a deadline, saw sports stories fly by me on my twitter feed, and completely failed to find my muse.

So, I did what any good blogger would do, I went to my Wunderlist app and opened up the MTAF Ideas section. It’s not pretty.

There's more, I promise (hope).
There’s more, I promise (hope).

It turns out that I’m even out of practice at creating lists of things to write about. Hell, I don’t even remember what day I wrote all of these down. But, the reality is this; I have 13 things on that list, it’s Tuesday evening, and I just had an idea.

My idea is pretty solid, but I’m going to need your help. Today, I’ll pick a couple of topics off of that list and try to give you my opinions about them. That’s the easy part. The hard part will be repopulating that list. I’ll need questions and topics via twitter – at @RailbirdJ, email – at [email protected], or even on Facebook[1. My mom is on facebook, though, so enter at your own risk. (sorry, Mom)]

Oh, and one more thing about this; I’m going to try and do it in 100 words or less. That may sound weird, but 100 words or less will be better for all of us. I’ll be able to provide concise opinions, and you’ll (hopefully) get a lot of questions answered every time I dig into my mailbag.

Don’t worry, I won’t ignore topics that I can’t tackle in 100 words. I’ll just turn them into their own columns. Now, let’s get to it.

Is Kyrie Irving Really Joe Johnson?  

I was working on a big comparison about a year ago between Joe Johnson and where I thought Kyrie’s career would peak. There’s no doubt that Kyrie is more ball-dominant and a better scorer, but I’m worried about the comparison being about an undeserving hero role and lack of championships than sick handle and fancy layups.

Building a championship team around a small point guard makes as much sense as building one around a guy like Joe Johnson. Sadly, that isn’t a lot of sense.

There is No Spoiling the Olympics in Sochi 

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are happening NINE hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. There’s no possible way for NBC to air the events that get big ratings during prime time here in the United States anywhere NEAR live.

The vast majority of viewers want to watch figure skating and alpine skiing in the evening after work, and before bed. If that means not airing something live at 1 am so it can rake in the ratings at 8 pm, well, thems the breaks.

Besides, spoiling a live event is impossible. You just didn’t get to see it live.

That’s it for today. I’ll keep chipping off of this list, but don’t forget to help me out.

_____________________________

Biased Observer

The Beer

No beer tonight, but I enjoyed another quality cigar this afternoon from Medina Cigar & Tobacco. I’m pretty excited about what I was talking about while I was up at the cigar shop, but that’s news for another time.

The NFL Mock Drafts Have Arrived

And I don’t care.

I’m not being mean, either. I know and respect a lot of the guys who are total football freaks, like the folks over at Draft Browns. They know everything there is to know about the Cleveland Browns, and their constantly in football mode. I respect that, it’s just that I’m watching baseball and basketball right now. The romanticism of the MLB season sweeps me away every year. Add the NBA Playoff story lines to my infatuation with America’s Pastime, and I have very little room for football right now.

Football – and locally the Browns – is a siren that sings year round, but my ship sails in safer waters from March to July.

(Except for April 25th – 27th. Those are the draft days, and I spend that whole weekend staring at men struggling to fill time for 8,983 hours on TV)

The 2016 Olympics Could Be the Last

Hoop it Up Logo
Seriously. Look at this logo. Does this look like the logo of an Olympic sport?

According to reports, the Olympic Committee is considering BMX events, mountain bike events, and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. There was no word on 2016 being the last Olympiad, but I can’t imagine a world where 3-on-3 basketball is an Olympic event lasting another four years without succumbing to the weight of its own stupidity.

It might take a few minutes, but I feel like I could be talked into BMX and mountain biking in the Olympiad. I don’t ride any bike in any capacity competitively, but I certainly can appreciate the athleticism that it would take to excel in either of those endeavors. Hell, I’d rather watch competitors navigate mountain trails than watching the indoor track cycling.

But the kicker on why I’d take either cycling event over the 3-on-3 basketball is that, regardless of my opinion of the sport, the guys on bikes are actually playing their sport. A game of 3-on-3 isn’t basketball. Three-on-three (I just knew that going with numerals instead of spelling out the numbers would ruin the continuity of the segment. I JUST HAD to start a sentence like that. Idiot) isn’t a sport, it’s what I do when I’m sick of running on the treadmill at the gym and there are five other bored guys around.

The spacing is all wrong, the game is scored differently, there’s practically no way to run any sort of offense, and the only thing you can do defensively is don’t screw up when to switch a pick. That’s not basketball. That’s a tournament you play on uneven pavement for a plastic trophy.

My March Madness Bracket Was Maddening

I only fill out one bracket each year, and this year I didn’t even enter mine into any contests. I filled it out and forgot about who I picked and where. Instead, I watched March Madness this year with the wide-eyed innocence of a fan who didn’t have anything to lose.

I rooted for underdogs, uniforms, and mascots. I spent my time learning about key players from small schools instead of pouring over a spreadsheet trying to find out exactly what my maximum bracket points could be. In short, I had fun this year.

Unfortunately, when I finally decided to check my bracket, I quickly realized that the reason I was so caught up in the nuances of the tournament was because I subconsciously knew I had blown every pick from here to Dunk City.

I didn’t have Michigan or Louisville in the Championship and I didn’t even have Wichita State and Syracuse in the Final Four. I’m sad to admit that my Elite Eight was more like the Tepid Three. In total, I only had 34 of the 62 picks correct. I’m not sure if I picked poorly because I knew I wasn’t going to care, or if I found out how much more I liked watching this year and I don’t care that I picked poorly. If I ever figure it out, I won’t tell anyone anyway. I’ll just keep it to myself and go back to being a fan of college basketball.

It can’t be that bad, that’s how this whole thing started in the first place.

Team USA Men's Basketball Should Represent America

As an American, is it wrong to root against America?

Yes, it is wrong to root against your native country, especially a country in which so many people make sacrifices for us and our freedom. It is wrong to root for the United States to lose in the Olympics.

However, I don’t think it’s wrong to root against some of the people who represent our country in the Olympics. Especially, the United States basketball team.

I didn’t watch a single minute of Team USA basketball. First and foremost, I didn’t because I felt bad for the rest of the world. They didn’t stand a chance. The basketball team that the United States of America fielded for the 2012 Olympic Games in London is probably one of the best teams ever assembled. We’ve debated the Dream Team before, but nonetheless this challenged the greatest USA teams ever assembled.

Continue reading Team USA Men's Basketball Should Represent America

We May Not Have Seen the Best of LeBron Yet

by Ryan Isley

Just when the NBA thought they had seen the best of LeBron James this past season as he led the Miami Heat to the NBA championship – LeBron’s first title – it seems that the league may be in for a rude awakening when the season starts this October.

One school of thought during the playoffs this past season (and one that I shared) was that once LeBron was able to win that first championship, he would loosen up and be able to play even more freely than he already has en route to his three NBA MVP awards in the past four seasons.

If the Olympics are any indication, LeBron may just be poised to prove those who thought that right and have his best season yet.

The fact that LeBron has looked even more impressive than usual during this Olympics run has not escaped other coaches around the NBA, as Brooklyn Nets assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo talked about LeBron on MSNBC Thursday morning. Responding to a comment on the MSNBC Olympics coverage that LeBron has proven during these Olympics that his is the best basketball player in the world, Carlesimo said:

Continue reading We May Not Have Seen the Best of LeBron Yet

Off-Base Percentage: Usain Bolt Wants to Play Soccer

Off-Base Percentage is a weekly post about the lighter side of sports, mainly baseball. Whether it occurs on the field, in the locker room, or in the media, if it is a little ‘off-base’ then it is fair game. If you are looking for analysis of a player, team, or sport it won’t be found in this post. This is for the sports fan that wants to take a step back and look at sports from a ‘different’ angle. Enjoy.

Sometimes when I come across a story I have trouble telling if it is a serious article or if it is just a buzz piece. That’s exactly what happened when I read an article about Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt wanting to play for England’s most notable club team, Manchester United. After reading the article it seems that Bolt is pretty serious about his capabilities on the soccer field, but I will not be convinced until I see it. Continue reading Off-Base Percentage: Usain Bolt Wants to Play Soccer

Off-Base Percentage: Ending the 1992 vs. 2012 Dream Team Debate

Off-Base Percentage is a weekly post about the lighter side of sports, mainly baseball. Whether it occurs on the field, in the locker room, or in the media, if it is a little ‘off-base’ then it is fair game. If you are looking for analysis of a player, team, or sport it won’t be found in this post. This is for the sports fan that wants to take a step back and look at sports from a ‘different’ angle. Enjoy.

The Olympics have not even started and all that I have been hearing on ESPN and every sports site is the debate about which team is better, 1992’s Dream Team or 2012’s squad. In my opinion the teams are not comparable for many reasons. First of all, this year’s team has not even started playing yet so how can we even compare the two? But for giggles, I am here to settle this the only way I know how–with numbers. Statistics do not lie. I am simply going to go down the rosters of each team and add up specific statistics like points, rebounds, and assists per game in each player’s professional career. ( I am omitting both Christian Laettner and Anthony Davis because both had not played in the NBA when the Olympics rolled around.)

1992

David Robinson – 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.5 APG

Patrick Ewing – 21.0 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.9 APG

Larry Bird – 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG

Scottie Pippen – 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG

Michael Jordan – 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG

Clyde Drexler – 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG

Karl Malone – 25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.6 APG

John Stockton – 13.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 10.5 APG

Chris Mullin – 18.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.5 APG

Charles Barkley – 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG

Magic Johnson – 19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG

Team Total – 230.9 PPG, 103.8 RPG, 59.5 APG

2012

Kobe Bryant – 27.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.6 APG

James Harden – 16.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG

Chris Paul – 19.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 9.1 APG

Russell Westbrook – 23.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.5 APG

Deron Williams – 21.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 8.7 APG

Carmelo Anthony – 22.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.6 APG

Kevin Durant – 28.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.5 APG

Andre Iguodala – 12.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.5 APG

LeBron James – 27.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.2 APG

Kevin Love – 26.0 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 1.9 APG

Tyson Chandler – 11.3 PPG, 9.9 RPG, .8 APG

Team Total – 236.5 PPG, 72.5 RPG, 52.5 APG

So let’s just say that for the sake of the argument all eleven players hit their averages in one game. The 2012’s would outscore the 1992’s. But the 92’s would out-rebound and out-assist the 12’s. The name of the game is to score more than the other team, but if the 92’s get more assists and rebounds then they may make a game of it. Of course, there are more intangibles like clutch performances, team chemistry, and sheer will to win. All of that stat searching and addition and I am back at the same point–the teams cannot be compared. It’s not like we can have them play each other in their primes. My only solution is to ask Coach K. He was the assistant coach in 1992 and is the head coach this year. I have never heard his opinion, but I am sure he has been quoted. Someone please point me in the right direction to find it.

Which team is better? Do you care? Will this team win the gold? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.

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