Joel Embiid has been a poster child for the load management trend, playing 64 and 63 games the past two regular seasons as Philadelphia tries to keep its best player rested and healthy for the playoffs.
Embiid says he wants to play in more games this season, better helping him chase awards such as MVP or Defensive Player of the Year. To get there, it will likely mean Embiid playing in more back-to-backs.
Philadelphia GM Elton Brand, speaking to the media Saturday, said that was a possibility.
The Sixers tried that at the start of last season, but as the injuries mounted they got more cautious and went back to Embiid playing in just one game in a back-to-back. We’ll see if Embiid’s conditioning and health hold up well enough for him to play in more of these games this season.
Brand also talked about Ben Simmons and the idea he will take more threes this season (he is 0-of-18 for his career, including the playoffs).
The Sixers scrimmaged on Saturday and before the game there was more video of Simmons hitting threes — just remember doing so in warm-ups and uncontested is borderline meaningless.
Brand also said something absolutely true, the Sixers are contenders.
To fulfill that potential they need to answer questions about Embiid’s ability to play more games and Simmons’ jumper.