Howard Eskin, who grew out his beard and now looks like a mix between Zeus and Tom Hanks from Castaway, is skeptical.
He’s skeptical of Brett Brown’s goal to have Joel Embiid play 38 minutes per playoff game this season, an admittedly ambitious plan considering that the Sixers’ center has only played that many minutes three times in 19 career postseason games.
The KING is so skeptical that he’s now putting it all on the line:
— Andrew Porter (@And_Porter) July 27, 2020
Howard is correct in his assertion here, as much as it pains me to say it. There’s no way on God’s green Earth that Joel Embiid, who averaged 30 minutes in last year’s playoffs and only 34 minutes in the seven-game Toronto series, gets to 38 minutes per game in the Orlando bubble. He’s already dealing with “calf tightness,” and missed the second scrimmage, and didn’t seem very hot on the restart idea to begin with.
A more realistic goal is to get Embiid to anything consistent in the 31-35 minute range, which is where he’s finished eight of those 19 games:
A blowout here or there will help pace him along the way.
For further context, Joel averaged 30.2 minutes in 44 regular season games, which was down from the 33.7 he played over 64 games last year. He’s going into this season with much less wear and tear, we think.
Also, Howard is walking 1,100 miles for charity, which you can read about here.