New rules approved by the NBA next week will limit the amount of rest stars like Joel Embiid and James Harden will get throughout the season.
Last week, the NBA passed new rules to crack down on teams that rest their star players.
To quickly recap, the association decided to adopt a new set of rules that prohibits resting more than one star at a time, resting stars for nationally televised games and more under the threat of increasingly costly fines for violators. For a full breakdown of the new rules, check out our story on last week’s decision.
For reference, the NBA defines a “star” as a player who has made an All-Star or All-NBA team in any of the previous three seasons. For the Sixers, that includes Joel Embiid and (if he plays) James Harden.
Harden aside, given that there is already enough uncertainty around him, Sixers fans might wonder how that will affect Embiid’s schedule and playing time.
New Sixers head coach Nick Nurse recently gave his opinion on the new policy applying to Embiid and Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin earlier this week.
Embiid (and Harden, for what it’s worth) are no strangers to managerial off days, especially at the end of back-to-back games or in busier months with longer stretches of games. Those days of rest for Embiid appear to be in the past under the new set of rules and under Nurse, who looks to keep the big man on the court.
“I think we’re looking at it maybe a little differently than people think,” Nurse told Sixers Wire. “We’re trying to get (Embiid) to play more games. Our goal is for everything to go towards it, not the other direction, and some people would say, ‘Oh, that’s the playoffs.’ Is it going to be? “We’re just trying to get it to go the other direction.”
That might be surprising to Sixers fans who understandably often worry that their star center is overworked during the regular season, especially since Embiid is no stranger to missing time due to injuries.
Nurse doesn’t rule out those unforeseeable factors ruining his plans, but his goal is to keep Embiid playing as long as it’s under his control.
“I think that’s exactly what our people believe here: that you can knock over and over again, knock on wood, cross your fingers and all that,” Nurse continued. “There are always things that can come up with those things, but I don’t know. “I believe in guys playing as much as they can and seeing what happens.”
The new rules have revived concerns about the need of rest for these stars, hinting that the regular season in its current form is too long. Still, at least for this season, load management may look very different across the league in those 82 games under the new guidelines.
Sixers training camp begins on October 3, the preseason begins on October 8, and the regular season finally begins on October 26.
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