The Philadelphia 76ers (17-9) are in Detroit tonight for match-up against the Pistons (13-9). To this point in the season, the Sixers have played 26 games, which is tied for the most in the league. They had their preseason trip to China, have already played four back-to-back sets and one of their young stars, Joel Embiid, has played the fourth-most minutes in the NBA (892). That's 50 more than the next center on the list, Karl-Anthony Towns. 

Embiid mentioned after the Sixers loss in Toronto that he has been playing like trash over the last few games and if you've been watching, the big man seems to be a little gassed from his usage early on in the season. Joel is currently fourth in the NBA in usage percentage (31.1), behind only Zach LaVine, Kevin Durant and James Harden.

In fact, the last few games I’ve been so trash so I’ve got to figure that part out if I want to help the team win some games. I got to do a better job. It’s on me. I haven’t been efficient and got to make sure I work on my game.

On Friday night in Detroit, the Sixers will finally give Embiid a game to rest.

In 26 games this season, Embiid is averaging 26.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.0 blocks in 34.3 minutes. Over the last five games though, his stats have declined as the big man is shooting just 42.7 percent from the floor and averaging just 19.8 points per game. He also hasn't been getting to the free throw line as much, averaging eight free throws per game over the last five compared to his season average of 10.1.

Embiid only played 22 minutes against Washington and 30 against the Knicks, but his 10-point, 12-rebound performance in 36 minutes against the Raptors was probably a sign to Brett Brown and the Sixers that he needs some rest.

After playing in Detroit on Friday, the Sixers host the Pistons on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Brandon Apter is a Sixers contributor to 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.

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