Sixers coach Brett Brown, when asked how much Embiid would play in Wednesday’s season opener against the Wizards, told reporters that he didn’t have a set number of minutes in mind before acknowledging “somewhere like in the teens.”
Embiid, who played in just 31 games last season, said Brown’s projection was “disappointing” when informed later Monday.
“I didn’t know about that, but (the minutes restriction) is very disappointing,” Embiid told reporters Monday. “I feel great and hopefully that changes based on [Monday’s] practice and [Tuesday’s] practice.”
Embiid last played in a regular-season game on Jan. 27 before missing Philadelphia’s final 37 contests because of a left knee injury. The injury-plagued center enjoyed a breakout season before the injury, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks despite playing just 25.4 minutes per game.
The Sixers limited Embiid to less than 15 minutes in each of his two preseason games this month, and Brown indicated that he would adopt a similar approach at the start of the regular season.
“There will be some minutes restrictions, but it’s also a judgment of how is the game being played, not just looking at rote, rigid number,” Brown said.
But Embiid, who signed a five-year $146.5 million extension last week, said he will lobby to play more minutes.
“I got a voice,” Embiid told Philly.com. “They got to listen to me. … If I feel great and my body feels great and my knee is fine, I should play 30 minutes or more. I definitely have my opinion on that.
“They are going to hear me. We are going to discuss it.”