Joel Embiid caught off guard by decision to have him sit out Pacers game
Even if he has been impressive so far this season, the team has decided to not have him travel with them as they play the Indiana Pacers.
November will be a very busy month for the Sixers as they play 17 games, including four back-to-backs. Their decision to sit Embiid in some games is part of the plan not to over utilize him and preserve his health after just recovering from a pair of foot injuries that forced him to sit out the past two seasons.
But upon being asked when he found out he’s not playing on Wednesday, the 22-year-old Kansas product discussed how he was caught off guard by it, per Tom Moore of The Intelligencer.
“That kind of caught me off guard,”
“They told me that (Monday). I mean, I want to play more, but they care about me and I’m going to follow whatever they have planned for me.”
“That kind of caught me off guard. It’s frustrating, but they care about me. I think it’s going to help me a lot down the road. Whatever how many years I’m going to play – 15, 20 years – it’s really going to help me down the road. They care about me. It’s frustrating, I want to play, but it is what it is.”
Head coach Brett Brown understands why his starting center is feeling that way and said he already expected it after they told him their decision based on consultations with their medical and training personnel. But he also explained the reason why they opted to rest him.
“I was aware that it was a possibility. It’s really the volume of games in a condensed period of time. He’s most disappointed that he can’t be with his teammates. It’s like ‘I get why I can’t play, but I respected it.’ He fights like heck (wanting to) ‘put me on a plane. Let me go with the guys.’ “
It can be expected that Embiid will sit out some more games this season especially if they’re schedule is too busy on given stretches. But the team has already made a plan on who they’ll play when Embiid takes additional rest as Jahlil Okafor and Richaun Holmes will see an uptick in their minutes during these times.