The NBA playoffs so far have been characterized by significant injuries to big-time players. Dwight Howard was out before the postseason began, Derrick Rose went down in the waning minutes of Game 1, and several other players (Baron Davis, Amare Stoudemire, etc.) have fallen victim to on- and off-court maladies. Consequently, we're seeing a lot of series that definitely will not go the distance -- there are six 3-1 series in play right now, along with two that have already been decided. The Nuggets in particular have had fits dealing with the new-look Kobe Bryant -- he's been more of a distributor late in games than he has in the past, where the game plan was simply "give it to Kobe."
Kobe Bryant's role in the fourth quarter is usually that of a force of nature, but these playoffs have seen him rely more on his teammates.
Thunder or Spurs?
The Spurs and Thunder have already taken care of their two opponents, but it's still a long way to go before either team makes it to the finals.
The Bulls and Magic find themselves in the same 3-1 hole as the Nuggets and Hawks, although Denver and Atlanta didn't lose their franchise players early on.