We just spent part of our summer looking back 20 years at the Dream Team with Jordan, Ewing, Magic, Bird, Barkley and on and on, and how that group changed the face of international basketball. Plus we had that silly debate about them and the 2012 team.
But the American Dream Team may not have been the best story from that Olympic basketball tournament in Barcelona.
A new documentary — “The Other Dream Team” — looks back at the 1992 Lithuanian team — a country that had just split off from Russia, a country that had no money to help its basketball program until the Greatfull Dead stepped in with money and tie-dye shirts. A country that had some good players still in Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis. A country that had to play Russia during the Olympics in maybe the most meaningful game in Barcelona.
I really can’t wait to see this entire documentary.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.