Brett Brown elusive on specifying Joel Embiid minutes restriction
Joel Embiid expressed extreme unhappiness earlier this week regarding the Philadelphia 76ers’ plan to place him on a minutes restriction. And if Embiid wanted any clarification exactly where said restriction would be set, Sixers head coach Brett Brown wasn’t doing him any favors.
“There’s a range that we are going to figure out,” Brown said at shootaround ahead of a Wednesday’s season opener against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center, via Philly.com. “… There’s a range we will work on.”
Brown stated earlier this week that the plan was for Embiid to play “in the teens” to start the season. Embiid reacted with a profane rant, referring to the plan as “f—–g bulls–t.” Embiid later revealed the 76ers plan to play him about 16 minutes per game.
Brown, when asked to confirm whether Embiid assertion was accurate, said, “No. There are parameters in the vicinity. It’s somewhere around there and we’ll look at that.”
The Sixers opted to put Embiid on a minutes restriction, much to his evident chagrin, following his surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The 76ers had placed Embiid on a minutes restriction last season as well, only to see the the injury limit the 23-year-old to 31 games.
“It’s not like a hard number,” Brown said of the team’s plans at the onset of the season. “The game with the NBA rule changes, it goes fast with the limited timeouts and the timeouts are quicker. … So we are going to feel it together. We are going to play Joel within some parameters and go from that base.”
The case can be made that the 76ers are charting the correct course with Embiid, despite his protestations. The budding superstar is among the most dynamic and charismatic young players in the NBA. Doing everything possible to ensure his long-term health is the best option.