Two days after logging a preseason-high 19 minutes, 36 seconds, 76ers center Joel Embiid was asked if he looked for more playing time Friday in the team's preseason finale in Miami.
"Hopefully," Embiid said Monday after practice. "Hopefully by the first [regular-season] game, I get to play 40 minutes. . . . That's not happening, but we will see."
The Sixers have restricted his playing time in an attempt to bring him a long slowly after he missed the previous two seasons following right foot surgeries.
Sixers coach Brett Brown expects Embiid to play 20-24 minutes in the Oct. 26 season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center.
Robert Covington and Hollis Thompson joined Nerlens Noel, Jerryd Bayless, and Ben Simmons on the did-not-practice list.
Covington was sidelined with a migraine. Thompson has an upper respiratory infection that sidelined him Saturday night. Noel (left groin strain), Bayless (sore left wrist), and Simmons (right foot surgery) have been sidelines for weeks. The trio isn't expected to play at the start of the season.
Simmons could be out for three months, according to sources. Brown said Simmons' recovery is "three-pronged" and "very holistic."
In one aspect of his rehab, the staff shows Simmons different scenarios on video in an effort to educate him about the NBA. In the gym, Brown said, the rookie is lifting weights and getting his body conditioned to return to the court.
"And then there's stuff where he will sit in a chair and get his elbow under a ball for a long time until he can actually stand, push it up and get the basics to his shot," Brown said of Simmons, who is in a walking boot.
The team is determined to help Simmons improve his shot.
Free open practice
The Sixers will conduct their annual free open practice on Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Liacouras Center. The Sixers Phlight Squad, dancers and team DJ will entertain fans starting at 6. Tickets can be obtained on eventbrite.com.