Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) and San Antonio Spurs power forward Matt Bonner (15) have to be separated after a call in the first quarter of game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) was called for a technical foul. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Morning Tip-Off

Spurs: Where Everyone Knows His RoleNBA.Com

Two examples of what makes the Spurs — unselfish, deep, humble, precise, unwavering — the Spurs: Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair.

San Antonio Spurs Officially On NBA Finals Collision Course With Miami Heat - Bleacher Report

The Spurs, an injured, hobbling bunch, looked a bit rough coming into the series. They even went out to pick up Tracy McGrady as a bit of a security blanket should a rash of injuries come up to bite them again.

Then the series started.

Tiago Splitter To Fans: “My Ankle Is Feeling Better”Pounding The Rock

Good game and great series vs the Lakers! Now we gotta wait to see who we gonna face next round… My ankle is better, today i could walk without the crutches.Will work hard to get healthy asap!

Coming Soon: Spurs’ Playoffs To StartSpurs Nation

The Lakers, after all, were left with one of the weakest rosters in postseason memory. The Utah Jazz, for example, were a real team with a real rotation when the Spurs swept them in the first round last season. These Lakers were closer to the Sacramento Kings.

But the Spurs convinced themselves of something else entirely. They took Popovich’s appropriate-fear message to another level; it was a self-created, alternate-reality fear.

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