Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/2/14
The San Antonio Spurs won't be facing Kobe Bryant when they begin their playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers. It's their 12th postseason series, but familiar foe Bryant is absent after tearing his Achilles tendon on April 12. Are the Spurs going to miss competing against their chief nemesis when the series starts Sunday? ''Not really,'' Manu Ginobili said. ''Of course, playing against him makes you better, that's for sure. He challenges you on every possession, but I'm not going to miss him, that's for sure.'' San Antonio has enough of its own worries. The Spurs enter the playoffs having lost three straight and seven of 10 while Ginobili and Tony Parker have dealt with leg injuries. Bryant's injury capped a tumultuous regular season that included the firing of Mike Brown, the courtship of Phil Jackson before the hiring of Mike D'Antoni, purported infighting among players and injuries to Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace. Los Angeles responded ...
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