Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown watched San Antonio Spurs icon Manu Ginobili thrive off the bench when Brown was an assistant on Gregg Popovich's staff, and he envisions a similar role for center Al Horford.
"As I remind everybody, we brought Ginobili off the bench for many years," Brown told reporters, including ESPN's Tim Bontemps. "That's my most personal example that I can share with him. And that wasn't smooth at the start, and there is pride involved.
"But you end up where you end up, and I think his human nature of being selfless, and a tremendous persona and teammate, is filtered into that competitive spirit and that pride. And so far, I feel like he's in an OK place."
Horford's come off the bench in each of the last two games after exclusively starting for virtually his entire NBA career. The initial results haven't been great as the veteran big man's averaged 7.5 points and 4.5 boards while posting a minus-8 rating.
Overall, Horford has been a massive disappointment since inking a four-year, $109-million contract with the Sixers last summer. However, Brown knows it would be foolish to count out the 34-year-old and has faith that Horford will deliver in the postseason.
"We have seen the history of Al Horford, and all of us would be very naive to think some of his signing wasn't driven to where we want to be in April, May and, we hope, June," Brown said. "Just progress out ... look ahead to see the matchups."
Horford is averaging 11.9 points on a career-low 44% shooting. Philadelphia sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 35-21 record entering Friday's slate of games.