Given the emphasis on following a load management plan for Joel Embiid, resting Joel during one game of a back-to-back seems like a go-to choice for a night off as to provide the big man more time to recover. For instance, Embiid sat out against the Orlando Magic on November 13th after playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers the evening prior.
The Sixers have a back-to-back this weekend, hosting the San Antonio Spurs Friday evening and getting right back to it against the Miami Heat on Saturday evening. Declaring Embiid inactive for one of these two games could be viewed as likely. However, according to Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Sixers currently plan to play Embiid in both of those games, pending an evaluation following the Spurs game.
Sixers spokesman says plan is for Joel Embiid to play in both games of their upcoming back-to-back, with the caveat that he will be evaluated after Friday’s game just to see how he feels. #Sixers— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 21, 2019
I generally think back-to-backs are dumb, so I have no qualms against declaring a player inactive just for the sake of not overextending them. But I also don’t think it’s any crime to plan to allow Embiid to play in both as long as he, in collaboration with the team’s medical staff, decides that he’s perfectly healthy to do so. Maybe playing Embiid in both games but with a lower minutes dosage than usual in both games is the right balance. Or maybe he doesn’t end up playing in one. Just keep the big fella healthy, that’s all we ask.