By Annie Ross
Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked yesterday about an earlier comment, that he’d like to get Embiid to 38 minutes fitness for the playoffs, and didn’t shy away from the number:
“His fitness base has been well-earned. I don’t know what footage is coming out of our practices, but I will tell you, when we go up and down and you watch Joel move and watch him run, there is zero doubt that he would have had to put in a lot of time to arrive in Orlando in the shape that he has arrived.
“I said to everybody on the (earlier) call that it would take me about three seconds to say ‘he did something, or he didn’t do something’ as it pertains to obtaining that ‘B’ fitness goal. All of my guys have come in (with that level of fitness). We will get to an ‘A,’ and I think Joel’s health and fitness, with what I’ve seen, I think he can attain that number I said.
“I hope to play him, we’re talking NBA playoffs, I hope I can keep him somewhere in that range. 38 is probably ambitious, but I said it, I’ll own, I’ll stand by it, and I think his fitness base can only improve. The base he’s come in with is much noted and respected.”
Embiid averaged 30 minutes per game game in last year’s playoffs, a number that increased to 34 for the Toronto series, perhaps skewed by the 45 he played in game seven.