Joel Embiid will on a 20-minute restriction when the Sixers open the season tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The hard part for Sixers coach Brett Brown will be trying to manage Embiid's minutes, especially late in games when the Sixers might have a small lead or a small deficit and Embiid is already near or close to his minute restriction.

"It's going to be a fist-fight everyday," Brown acknowledged, "But I'm happy to do it."

After starting at 12-minute runs at the start of the preseason, Embiid was up to about 20-minutes by the end of the preseason.  Now, the Sixers plan on playing Embiid as Brown described for five, 4-minute increments each game early on this season.

But he knows Embiid is going to be fighting for more time.

"It's going to happen every single day I coach him," Brown admitted. "Until medical people feel one-hundred percent certain that he is unrestricted, and it happens at practice everyday that I've coached him since I've had him this preseason.  It's happened during the games - and I say that with affection and respect, he loves playing basketball."

"It's my job that he remains healthy," Brown added.