Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons’ minutes restrictions clarified by Doc Rivers
The shortened break heading into the 2020-21 NBA season has a lot of teams concerned about restricting minutes for their superstar players. But as far as new Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers is concerned, his superstar duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons will get their regular minutes as long as they’re healthy and in shape.
Per USA Today’s Ky Carlin, the Sixers tactician gave out a curt response when asked if he will consider sitting out his two best players for load management, especially given their history of injuries.
“I don’t think so. It’s probably, honestly, a minutes restriction for everybody, but it’s called a lung restriction. For the most part, there’s no restrictions on anyone right now which is actually really nice going into the season.”
Doc Rivers’ honest assessment is certainly good news for Sixers fans, who were worried about the status of Joel Embiid. The three-time All-Star center sat out Philly’s final preseason game against the Indiana Pacers due to an illness. Judging by Doc’s remarks, it looks like JoJo will be ready to go come the team’s season opener against the Washington Wizards on Friday. The same goes for Ben Simmons, who is coming off an injury-plagued 2019-20 campaign.
Plus, Rivers will be handling a youthful squad this season, which works well in his favor. Embiid and Simmons, after all, are just 26 and 24 years old, respectively. The Sixers are also filled to the brim with young talent, apart from the tested veterans they acquired this offseason.
Doc, on the other hand, is used to having his stars sit out games in the past. Last season, Kawhi Leonard sat out back-to-back games while Rivers was still in charge of the Los Angeles Clippers. This will be a nice change of pace for the veteran coach now that his best players will on the floor as much as he wants.