Joel Embiid plans to amp up his workload in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The 76ers will face the Raptors in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Saturday, and despite a “bothersome” knee, the two-time All-Star wants more minutes.
“It’s still not there. It’s still trying to get better,” Embiid told reporters ahead of the matchup. “But that’s an issue that’s going to be there at least all playoffs until I actually get some real time to get some rest and work on myself. …
“But, we did a good job managing it. Obviously I only averaged about 24 minutes last series, so this one I’m definitely going to need way more than that.”
Embiid has been nursing tendinitis in his left knee, which is the same issue that kept him off the court in 14 of the team’s 24 games after the All-Star break as well as Game 3 against the Nets in Round 1.
“It’s hard because I’m known for playing through anything and pushing, pushing it,” Embiid added. “And in some situations like Game 3, I couldn’t go because it was too much. But like I said, I just got to keep managing it and see how I feel and then go from there.”
Embiid averaged 24.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 blocks in the five-game series versus Brooklyn. He logged just 24.8 minutes per game.
Tipoff for the first game of Round 2 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.