On the other side of the bracket, Larry Bird will face Kevin Garnett today for the right to go up against Bill Russell in the other semi. Here's how it breaks down
(1) Larry Bird:
1-on-1 Advantage: Shooting, scoring, intelligence. Bird is a do-it-all player in the 1-on-1 game. His ability to hit from anywhere on the court makes him dangerous against anyone. He makes up for any deficiencies in speed by forcing you to play up on him and then setting you up for any move he wants to make. He's a pretty good rebounder too, and his basketball IQ will let him know within a fraction of a second whether his shot is going to be off or not, giving him an edge to get to the rebounds.
1-on-1 Disadvantage: Speed. Bird isn't a fast guy. He can be exploited with a quick first step, especially if he has to respect a jumper. If a player can consistently hit from mid-range and force Bird to play up on him, then he might have a chance to get by for a layup. Just don't miss.
(8) Kevin Garnett
1-on-1 advantage: Height, shooting, defense. KG can hit from almost anywhere on the court. And he hit the turnaround jumper on almost anyone. Against a taller defender, he can loft one out of reach. Against a smaller defender, the rim will be in full view for him to shoot at. Defensively, he's been known to get down against guys of any size, so he won't shy away from facing a guard.
1-on-1 disadvantage: Ballhandling. KG used to be a better ball handler but he won't be wowing anyone with crossover dribble drives anymore. If he's forced to dribble too much in a 1-on-1 situation, he'll likely turn it over.