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Friday, August 3, 2012
Then & Now: USA basketball's blowouts

By Patrick Dorsey

The Dream Team and today's team: forever linked in history.

As debate subjects -- as in, which one's better?

As gold medalists -- that is, if the 2012 Team USA men win.

And now, after a 156-73 rout of Nigeria, as owners of signature blowouts in the early stage of the Olympics.

Yes, these two pseudo-enemies are more similar than you'd think, with the 1992 team dominating Angola 116-48 -- at the time the largest-ever Olympics win by a team filled with pros -- and the 2012 version offering that stunning win Thursday.

Even the pictures agree. So let's embrace these teams' similarities, not differences, as we look back at those earth-shattering routs:

Ewing and Chandler
Two teams, two New York Knicks centers (Patrick Ewing and Tyson Chandler) protecting the rim.

Magic Johnson and LeBron James
Two teams, two basketball wizards (Magic Johnson and LeBron James) checking the scoreboard.

Dream Team
Team USA
Two teams, two sets of players -- some legendary, some not as much -- who know how to strut.

Michael Jordan
Russell Westbrook
Two teams, two experts at figuring their way through and around flailing defensive players.

USA Hoops
USA Hoops
Two triumphant teams, but only one general way to celebrate, American-style.