Tuesday, May 30 2023

CAMDEN, N.J.–The Philadelphia 76ers got back to work at practice on Wednesday to open up their work after the All-Star break looking to get a rhythm going again. They have not played since Feb. 15 and they will get back at it on Thursday when they play host to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Before the All-Star break, coach Doc Rivers suggested that De’Anthony Melton needed the break the most due to the injuries he has been dealing with and the number of minutes he was playing.

As the Sixers got back to practice on Wednesday, Rivers sees a much better Melton as the break was useful for him.

“De’Anthony just needed the break to reset himself,” said Rivers. “He said he did that and he’s ready. So that’s good.”

All season, Melton has been dealing with a back issue, but he has managed to be able to put up career numbers across the board and he has been able to produce for Philadelphia at a high level.

“It’s amazing,” Rivers added. “It really is because he still has the same issue. He’s learned how to manage it a little bit better. I think we’ve done a better job at in games where we can rest him more, we have, but I don’t know if that’s been better for him as a player.”

Rivers then went on to expand and say that there are two factors when it comes to Melton’s minutes: rest and rhythm.

“It’s two things going on at the same time,” he added. “So that’s something we talked about over the break. There’s a fine line with too much rest giving guys and then there’s a rhythm to keep playing him. So we got to walk that line. Especially, during these games.”

Melton has already started 45 games, a career-high, and he has already played 1,537 minutes with 25 games still to go. The 1,657 minutes he played for the Grizzlies in the 2021-22 season were a career-high.

Therefore, Rivers has to balance resting Melton while also allowing him to keep his rhythm out on the floor. He also needs to be ready for the playoffs when the Sixers will need him to out and defend the opposition’s best scorer on a nightly basis.

“It makes him feel better, but it affects his game,” Rivers finished. “So we may have to find a happy medium there.”


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