Brown on Turner sitting vs. Suns: 'It was my decision'
After initial reports that he would play, Evan Turner will not play against the Suns tonight. (USA Today Images)
PHOENIX -- Upon further consideration, Evan Turner will not play tonight when the Sixers square off against the Suns at 9 p.m. Turner did not participate in the team’s morning shootaround, but at the time Brett Brown said he would play.
Brown later changed his mind.
“It is nothing severe. It is my decision,” coach Brett Brown said pregame. “Evan would want to play tonight. I think when you sit down and talk to the trainer and talk to Evan and really dig into Evan, you realize it is not wise for me to play him.
“I feel like over the years I have learned a lot from Pop (Gregg Popovich) on the rhythm of an NBA season and trying to keep care of the players and obviously ultimately care for the program and the team.”
Turner didn't injure his knee on any particular play in the Sixers' overtime win against the Nets last Friday in which he played 47 minutes, although he said it was sore. He played 33 minutes the following night in the Sixers' 116-106 loss to the Bucks.
“And then he was half-baked in Milwaukee,” Brown said following the morning shootaround. “He has put out two good sessions practice-wise, but he has pulled up a little bit lame so he chose to sit down, and I think that is a wise thing.”
Turner is the team's leading scorer, averaging 19.3 points. He's also pulling down 6.6 rebounds per game and handing out 4.0 assists. He's played in all 28 games this year after starting all 82 games last season. He has only missed five games in his career.
Brown said he expects Turner to play Sunday night against the Lakers in Los Angeles -- but don't be surprised if that changes.
"I believe we do, but even that will be a judgment tomorrow," Brown said. "I thought he was playing tonight. What we said this morning at shootaround was candid and honest, and things changed after that. My opinion is he will play tomorrow night, but we'll reassess that afterward."