Asked on Monday about the possibility of a minutes limit for Joel Embiid to start the season, Sixers head coach Brett Brown said the club doesn’t necessarily have a specific amount in mind. However, as Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes, Brown suggested that the young center would continue to see minutes in the teens, as he had in the preseason. Told later about Brown’s comments, Embiid expressed disappointment, though he insisted he trusts the Sixers and team doctors.
“I got a voice,” Embiid said. “They got to listen to me. … If I feel great and my body feels great and my knee is fine, I should play 30 minutes or more. I definitely have my opinion on that. They are going to hear me. We are going to discuss it.”
As Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia details (via Twitter), Embiid railed against his minutes restriction again on Tuesday, using more colorful language — it’s “f—ing bulls–t,” in Embiid’s view. The fourth-year big man also said he thought he’d be playing at least 24 minutes a night to start the year, adding that he doesn’t believe in the concept of minute restrictions to begin with (Twitter links).
As we wait to see if the Sixers and Embiid can find common ground on his playing time, let’s round up a few more items out of Philadelphia…
- In his weekly mailbag for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton explored how many games – and minutes – Embiid would need to play for the Sixers to become a probable playoff team. Pelton estimates that 55 games played sounds about right, assuming Embiid averages close to 25 minutes in those contests.
- Dario Saric was the Sixers’ most productive player down the stretch last season, but will come off the bench to start the 2017/18 campaign. As he tells Sarah Todd of Philly.com, if he can’t start games, Saric hopes to be part of the lineup that finishes them.
- In a separate article for Philly.com, Todd takes a closer look at the Sixers’ bench, which – led by Saric – features an intriguing mix of depth, upside, and experience.