Found January 27, 2012 on Bacon Sports:

I was talking with a friend yesterday about what our starting five would be if we could choose any current player. I went with Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Dwight Howard. Aside from choosing between Chris Paul and Derrick Rose (I chose Paul because I’d want more of a passing point guard) and putting Lebron at the 4 (which isn’t his natural position but he could play it) I thought that it was a pretty easy choice. This conversation led into a Young vs Old players debate. If I had to put together a starting five of players under 25 vs players 33 or older who would I choose and which team would win (note: this is only for this year, not the potential of the players over their career). This is what my squads would look like:

Young Guys:
1. Derrick Rose (23 years old)
2. James Harden (22)
3. Kevin Durant (23)
4. Kevin Love (23)
5. Roy Hibbert (25)

Old Guys:
1. Steve Nash (37)
2. Kobe Bryant (33)
3. Paul Pierce (34)
4. Kevin Garnett (35)
5. Tim Duncan (35)

If the game was played today which team would win? Obviously the old guys would have a hard time keeping pace with the young guys if they decided to run an up tempo offense. Nash would get eaten alive on D by Derrick Rose and Durant would have a field day with Paul Pierce. However, I don’t believe that it would be a cake walk for the young guys. Harden would have his hands full with Kobe, Garnett may not be the offensive force that he used to be but he can still D someone up (which would potentially neutralize Kevin Love), and Duncan would be a cagey vet and find a way to exploit Hibbert’s weaknesses (ala Ric Flair using a thumb to the eyes, repeated knife edge chops, or exposing the turnbuckle when the ref isn’t looking).

On the offensive side the old guys would run their offensive through Kobe and with Nash distributing the ball everything would run smoothly. Everyone knows that Kobe is the main option so there wouldn’t be an issue with how the offense runs. Garnett and Duncan are smart enough to know that they just need to hit the boards and own the lane. Pierce still can knock down an open J and can make the young guys pay if they double down on Kobe.

The two main advantages that the old guys have is their experience and Kobe Bryant. I still think that Kobe would be the best player on the court and combining this with playing smarter ball they’d find a way to win a close game. Plus, if it was a tie game with ten seconds left I’d rather have both Kobe and Pierce shooting the ball than any player on the young guys team. They’ve done it too many times for me to bet against them.

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