Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is expected to have a minutes restriction that’s “in the teens,” and he’s not happy.
Joel Embiid has a rich history of injury, and the Philadelphia 76ers want to take every possible precaution to prevent them going forward. Last season, Brett Brown had Embiid on a minutes restriction, and that’s going to continue this year.
“I don’t really know if there’s a solid number,” said Brown during a recent media scrum. “I can tell if you were to choose a number, it’s somewhere in the teens.” Embiid said on Monday that the news was “very disappointing.” On Tuesday, he became enraged, according to The Athletic’s Rich Hoffman:
“That’s fucking bullshit. I wish I was playing more minutes. I think I’m ready, I think I’m ready for more than whatever number they have. I don’t know, I wish I was playing more but we’re going to see how that goes.”
There’s no doubt that Embiid, regarding skill, is capable of producing. He appeared in 31 games during his rookie season and averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists in just 25.4 minutes a night. The unknown, however, is if his body can take it. Big men with chronic lower body problems don’t have long careers.
Brown not only kept a stranglehold on his star’s playing time, but he also sat him for the second half of back-to-backs.
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JoJo’s eager to get out on the floor and help his team because they’re much better when he plays. Philly has the chance to sneak into the playoffs if him, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz produce at the level we expect them to. There is, of course, the other side of the equation. The organization and the coaching staff are looking long-term. Embiid is a budding superstar who has the chance to become the NBA’s best player. The last thing they’d want to do is have injuries sap his potential.
Joel Embiid, 23, has the right to be frustrated. He just wants to hoop. However, that anger would compound if injuries left him glued to the bench. Eventually, the former lottery pick will realize that the coaches have his best interests at heart.
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