Just days into the 2017-18 season, Joel Embiid felt he was ready to play in back-to-back games. The Philadelphia 76ers, however, never held that opinion and have kept him out of consecutive games so far. However, the Sixers have increased his workload each month, as Embiid logged 20.8 minutes per game in October, 30.8 mpg in November, 25.8 mpg in December and 23.3 mpg this month.
This morning, Embiid said he is hopeful he will be able to play in back-to-back games by the end of the month.
Joel Embiid “hopefully back-to-backs by the end of this month, I’ll be able to play.”— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 18, 2018
Joel Embiid said he hopes to be cleared to play in back-to-back games by the end of this month.— A. Sherrod Blakely (@ASherrodblakely) January 18, 2018
In an interview with TNT's David Aldridge last month, Embiid said he was excited about the prospect of playing in consecutive games soon:
Me: Do you have the sense that the medical team here has kind of taken the shackles off of you in terms of minutes and back to backs, or is there still a daily back and forth with them?
JE: It’s definitely has gotten a lot better. I’m able to play a full game now. My only restriction is probably back to backs. I think the last month, month and a half, I’ve been playing more than 30 minutes every night. So it’s definitely getting better. I think the next step is obviously back to backs. I’m just excited.
Me: So when you hear the phrase ‘load management,’ what goes through your head?
JE: Load management. I mean, there’s a lot of meanings to that. (Laughs) In basketball, I guess, it’s just making sure they’re thinking about the future, too. They want me to play 20 years, so I get that, too. And I’m really thankful to be in this type of position. I can get mad all I want, but at the end of the day, they care about me, and I respect that.
This season, Embiid is averaging 23.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 3.4 assists in 23.8 minutes per game.