Al Horford may not have been kicking and screaming, but he attempted to make his case to be in the 76ers’ lineup for Tuesday’s game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers.
Instead, after starting the first nine games, Horford sat out due to a planned rest day.
“There is definitely some push back, but at the end of the day, I have to trust the people in our medical staff, that they are really looking out for me and all of us and have to get ready for tomorrow,” Horford said before the game.
Horford was referring to Wednesday’s game in Orlando against the Magic.
Sixers coach Brett Brown acknowledged that Horford wasn’t crazy about the idea of sitting, which he viewed as a positive.
“My answer is no, [he wasn’t on board]," Brown said "He is a professional player, a competitive player, he understands, but it is like pulling teeth.”
Brown said the plan to sit Horford this game was laid out awhile ago.
“You don’t just make this stuff up on the fly,” Brown said. “Like we sat down two months ago in September, whatever, with him.”
The 33-year-old Horford, who is averaging 15.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in his first season with the Sixers, said this is the first time he has received a rest day when he wasn’t injured.
“Being mindful of my body, that was one of the things that was brought up,” Horford said. “I feel fine. I do understand that it has to be done.”
Sixers point guard Trey Burke didn’t play in the first seven games, but had strong showings in the next two, which made sitting out Tuesday against the Cavs even more frustrating.
Burke was out with left calf tightness.
“Obviously, with us having back to back [games], the doctor and I thought it was smart for me to take tonight off and get ready for tomorrow,” Burke said before the game. “It is nothing that will hold me out more than one game.”
Burke had 12 points, four assists, and one turnover in 19 minutes, 19 seconds during Sunday’s 114-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets. He said he sustained the injury in that game.
“I don’t’ know exactly when it happened,” Burke said. “The next day it was bothering me a lot.”
Burke was looking forward to facing his former coach at Michigan, John Beilein, now guiding the Cavaliers, but he kept things in perspective.
“We play them next week,” he said, referring to Sunday’s game in Cleveland. “I will get a chance to get out there.”