How 2012 Team USA Basketball Roster Stacks Up to 2008 Gold Medal Squad

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 7, 2012

How 2012 Team USA Basketball Roster Stacks Up to 2008 Gold Medal Squad

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    Team USA has been a dominant force in basketball during recent years and that hasn't changed at the London Olympics

    However, is the 2012 version of the American squad as dominant as the 2008 version? 

    They're on pace to win gold, just as the 2008 team did in Beijing, but let's dig a little bit deeper. 

    Read on for a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams. 

Point Guards

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    2008: Jason Kidd, Chris Paul, Deron Williams

    2012: Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook

     

    Chris Paul and Deron Williams are both young enough that they've continued to improve since their initial forays into Olympic basketball, plus Russell Westbrook in 2012 is superior to the 2008 version of Jason Kidd. 

    Across the board, the current squad has the advantage at this position. 

    There's a pretty solid reason that Team USA has thrown out so many looks with multiple point guards on the court. 

     

    Advantage: 2012

Shooting Guards

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    2008: Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd, Dwyane Wade

    2012: Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Andre Iguodala

     

    Kobe Bryant in 2008 was clearly superior to the 2012 version of The Black Mamba, a version which seems to be limited to a leadership role more than a dominant playing one. 

    Plus, Dwyane Wade was a key contributor and one of the best in the world at his position. 

    James Harden hasn't been particularly great for Team USA this go-around and Andre Iguodala has played a limited role as well. 

     

    Advantage: 2008

Small Forwards

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    2008: Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Tayshaun Prince

    2012: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, LeBron James

     

    Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James have both improved rather significantly over the last four years, and Kevin Durant is a clear upgrade over Tayshaun Prince. 

    Thanks to the presence of the top two players in the world—not only at this position, but regardless of the spot at which they line up—2012 Team USA absolutely dominates this matchup. 

     

    Advantage: 2012

Power Forwards

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    2008: Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer

    2012: Anthony Davis, Kevin Love

     

    Kevin Love alone makes this matchup swing in favor of the current squad. Let's take a look at the per-game stats:

      Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals
    Chris Bosh 9.1 6.1 0.3 0.8 0.3
    Carlos Boozer 3.3 1.9 0.3 0.0 0.3
    Kevin Love 13.0 6.4 0.4 0.2 0.2
    Anthony Davis 6.5 3.5 0.0 0.6 0.2

     

    See what I mean?

     

    Advantage: 2012

Centers

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    2008: Dwight Howard

    2012: Tyson Chandler

     

    Dwight Howard has been the best center in basketball for a while now and clearly would have been the first choice for 2012 Team USA if he'd been healthy. 

    While Tyson Chandler is a great defender, he simply doesn't bring the same level of offense to the table. 

    That's the primary reason that he hasn't been able to carve out a significant role in London, while Howard was able to serve as a key contributor for the Americans in Beijing. 

     

    Advantage: 2008