Two days after 76ers coach Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Enquirer that Joel Embiid's minutes, for at least the early part of the season, would likely be limited to "somewhere in the teens," the prized Philadelphia big man promptly logged almost 27 minutes in a 120-115 season-opening loss to the Wizards on Wednesday. We probably shouldn't be surprised by Embiid's uptick in playing time. For starters, it's not like he played 35 minutes. The 27 minutes is barely over the 25-minute goal they set for Embiid during his 31-game stint last year. Besides that, Brown didn't sound all that committed to the minutes restriction in the first place -- perhaps especially after Embiid told reporters that the idea of his playing time being capped was "f------ bull----." Brown, understandably, is likely running thin on patience after enduring an unprecedented stretch of losing in an effort to put together the kind of team that can legitimately compete. Well, this team can compete. We saw that Wednesday night, when the Sixers gave a good Wizards team everything it could handle on the road. Honestly, this would have been more of a story had Brown kept Embiid on the bench to finish the game. Had he done that, in a close game, it would've been a clear statement that the Sixers, for all the expectations people want to place on them this year, were still prioritizing patience and caution over results. Instead, Brown brought Embiid back for the final five minutes. He tried to win the game.
In first chance to stick to Joel Embiid's minutes restriction, Sixers go for the win
CBS Sports | Oct 19