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Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor to remain on minutes restriction until at least Christmas

joel embiid

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers wipes his face with a towel during a timeout against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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The cap is 24 minutes a night. He has played as much as 25:15 in a game, but he also sat out a back-to-back.

The only thing seemingly holding Joel Embiid back this season is the minutes restriction placed on him by the team — a move made out of caution after he missed the first two full seasons with foot injuries.

That restriction is staying in place for both Embiid and Jahlil Okafor at least until Santa has made his rounds, according to Sixers coach Brett Brown, as reported by Jessica Camerato of

The team will evaluate Embiid’s playing time around Christmas. There is a possibility they could keep him at 24 after that.

“I think as I watch them and we judge their fitness, I think at times going beyond four five-minute segments is not good for them,” Brett Brown said. “I feel like fatigue sets in given the amount of time that they’ve been able to play and practice, etcetera.”

Embiid is averaging 18.5 points and 6.2 rebounds a game, shooting 48 percent and with an All-Star level PER of 25 this season. All in those 24 minutes.

The restriction is still the smart move by the team — you can see how special Embiid is, it’s obvious he can be a franchise cornerstone (maybe along with Ben Simmons, whenever he gets healthy), so don’t push it too hard yet. There’s no reason, the Sixers aren’t going to playoffs this season, they are still figuring it all out and building. It’s still a process, the difference is fans can now see the light at the end of the tunnel (which has nothing to do with the veterans brought in or the “change in attitude, it’s just guys got healthy). Don’t risk an injury relapse by pushing too hard now.