The Sixers were without multiple rotations players on Tuesday for their matchup against the Indiana Pacers. Doc Rivers ended up being without the services of Joel Embiid, Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, and Shake Milton as he attempted to clinch the number one seed.
With multiple guys out of the lineup, it created an opportunity for some players to get some time on the floor that typically doesn't. One of those players was be rookie Isaiah Joe.
The second-round pick saw ten minutes of action against the Pacers, scoring five points and making two of his three shot attempts. While it wasn't much time on the floor, Joe was still able to make a good impression with his coaches and teammates.
Joe got drafted for his lethal three-point shooting. But it was his work on the other end of the floor that stood out Tuesday. After the game, Doc Rivers praised Joe for his work on the defensive end.
"The thing I love about Isaiah [Joe] is his defense. I think overall for a rookie, he's a really solid defensive player," said Rivers.
Ben Simmons echoed Rivers' praise of Joe on the defensive end. Saying Joe impressed him with how well he hung around on defense.
"He was really good. I was actually surprised at how well he was able to guard out there. He did a really good job taking on that assignment," Simmons said postgame.
Simmons is widely regarded as one of the top defenders in the NBA right now. When he is impressed by someone's defense, they must be doing something right.
In the little time we have seen Joe on the floor this season, he has shown nice glimpses of being a good defender. Once he puts on some weight, his game will likely improve on that end.
The 'three-and-D' player archetype has become a hot commodity in today's NBA. If Joe can continue to build his defensive game, he will have all the characteristics of a reliable three-and-D wing player.
Hearing coaches and teammates credit his work on that end should be a nice confidence boost for the second-round pick as he continues to grow his game for the future.
Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA.