Based on the Philadelphia 76ers schedule for this upcoming season, the franchise could theoretically rest their star big man for at least 10 games.
Late last season and into the playoffs, it became clear that the Philadelphia 76ers did a poor job managing franchise center Joel Embiid‘s playing time throughout the course of the year. Sixers general manager Elton Brand did a good job in getting the proper depth behind Embiid to allow him to rest. Now that the 76ers season schedule has been released and head coach Brett Brown can begin to strategically plan load managing Embiid’s game availability for the upcoming season.
Based on the schedule that the Sixers have, the franchise should try to limit the amount of back-to-back games that Embiid should play. Embiid struggled to stay healthy for the Sixers postseason run, so trying to cut down the amount back-to-back games he plays should help preserve his body’s integrity for the playoffs.
There are 10 games that should be considered for load management rest and all are a part of a back-to-back games. Currently the Sixers are scheduled to play in 13 back-to-back matchups this season. If the Sixers are able to hold Embiid out against low caliber competition, then he will only in three back-to-backs, which is a lot better than 13. Below are the 10 games that Philly should rest Embiid this season.
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- Nov. 13, versus the Cleveland Cavaliers
- Nov. 29, at the New York Knicks
- Dec. 21, versus the Washington Wizards
- Dec. 27, at the Orlando Magic
- Jan. 17, versus the Chicago Bulls
- Feb. 7, versus the Memphis Grizzlies
- Feb. 26, at the Cleveland Cavaliers
- March 19, at the Charlotte Hornets
- March 26, at the Chicago Bulls
- April 11, at the New Orleans Pelicans
With the exception of the Magic, none of match-ups are against playoff teams from last season. While some of these teams have excited young cores, none of them are a lock for playoff spot. Only in November and December would Embiid play in any back-to-back games based on the suggested games above.
December will be the only hard month for Embiid when it comes to playing time as the Sixers have 16 games that month, tied for the highest total with November. However, December has the most back-to-backs with four, whereas November has the second highest with three. Based on the list above, the amount of back-to-backs would decrease from four to two for that month, which is significantly less.
The Philadelphia 76ers may end up load managing Embiid for more than 10 games, but at bare minimum, the Sixers could theoretically rest the All-Star center for 10 games this upcoming season.
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