WASHINGTON – It appears that 76ers coach Brett Brown may be weary of answering minutes restriction questions in regards to Joel Embiid.
Either that or Brown is giving himself a little wiggle room for Wednesday night’s season-opener against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.
“There’s a range that we are going to figure out,” said Brown, after being asked by a reporter how many minutes Embiid would play following Wednesday’s shootaround at Georgetown.
“That’s always the favorite question of every game I ever coached in Philadelphia for five years,” Brown continued. “For the Washington media, it’s like this is the question. And I get it.
“There’s a range we will work on.”
The coach said Monday that he expected Embiid to play “in the teens.” Embiid didn’t speak to the media one day after voicing his frustrated with the minutes restriction. He said Tuesday that he would play around 16 minutes. But there’s a belief that his range could be somewhere between 16 to 20 minutes in the opener.
So Brown was asked, again, about the minutes restriction. He was specially asked if it was 16 minutes as Embiid stated.
“No,” the coach said.”There are parameters in the vicinity. It’s somewhere around there and we’ll look at that.”
However as Brown continued to point out, the target range is flexible.
“It’s not like a hard number,” he said. “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.”
Embiid played on a minutes restriction last season after missing the previous two with a broken navicular bone in his right foot. He’s on another minutes restriction after being returning last week from March’s surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.