The Philadelphia 76ers have a high volume sniper from deep on their team who they, for some reason, have not incorporated into the rotation. Deep on the bench behind Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz, former Arkansas guard Isaiah Joe lies, waiting for his chance. Joe is in his second year and has not been given a real chance to show what he can do after being picked 49th in the 2020 draft. With Korkmaz struggling, the Sixers gave Isaiah Joe an opportunity against the Chicago Bulls, one he has to take advantage of going forward.
Isaiah Joe was a two-year starter at the University of Arkansas, where he averaged 16.9 points per game on 34.2% shooting from three. That percentage is more understandable when you realize he was launching 10.6 threes per game. His ability from deep is undoubted as he has proven it again and again. He seemed like such a perfect fit for the shooter starved Sixers. So much so that Philadelphia promised they would draft him. When given the proper playing time, Isaiah Joe can be a fantastic shooter, capable of draining three after three, yet Doc Rivers has refused to give him a chance with a completely healthy 76ers squad. Even last night’s appearance isn’t a guarantee that he will be given that opportunity going forward.
Don’t let Isaiah Joe’s stats fool you, either. Joe has shown flashes of what he can do when he gets to play with the established rotation. On January 3rd this year, Isaiah Joe got to play 21 minutes with a mostly healthy 76ers team against the lowly Houston Rockets. Immediately, Joe showed how much better he is when he gets to play with the first and second teams. In the game, Joe scored 18 points in 21 minutes while going 5-8 from deep, finishing as the third-highest scorer on the team. When Joe gets significant playing time, he’s good. When he gets significant playing time with a healthy team, he gets even better.
Isaiah Joe needs to consistently be in the rotation. Whichever side you’re on, whether you’re saying “Philly fans overvalue role players” or “Isaiah Joe is the best shooter on the Sixers,” or somewhere in between, we can all agree that we need to see more of him to make that conclusion. On top of that, the Sixers role players at the position, Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz are both struggling, especially the latter. Doc Rivers should at least try out using Isaiah Joe in the rotation to cure this second-team shooting slump.