Sixers guard Isaiah Joe showed some solid flashes during his rookie season last year. Although he was stripped of the opportunity to compete in the Summer League due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe found himself on the court for 41 games last year.
Averaging just under 10 minutes on the floor, Joe put up 3.7 points per game while shooting 37-percent from three. In addition to his shooting, the former Arkansas product also showed some solid flashes on the defensive end as well.
This past summer, Joe finally had an opportunity to make his Summer League debut. After getting an actual NBA offseason following his rookie effort, the second-year guard showed strides in his development while out in Vegas.
Now, Joe is showcasing his improvements on a bigger stage as his stellar Summer League performances are translating well to the 2021 NBA Preseason. During Philly's preseason opener against the Raptors, Joe put up 18 points in 25 minutes off the bench. During the second preseason outing against Toronto, he collected another 15 points in 22 minutes of action.
With a shorthanded lineup going into Monday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets, the Sixers had no choice but to start Isaiah Joe. After spending 26 minutes on the floor, Joe shot 6-9 from the field and knocked down five of his seven attempted threes, racking up a total of 20 points in Monday's win.
Following Philly's shorthanded victory over Brooklyn, Isaiah Joe received some notable praise from his team's top star Joel Embiid.
“Isaiah is someone that I really think he has a chance,” Joel Embiid said during his postgame press conference. “You got someone that can handle the ball, can shoot the ball, and can defend. I think he’s gonna be in the league for a long time. He’s gonna be really good so that’s something I’m excited about.”
After earning praise from his superstar teammate, Joe admitted the compliments make him feel good, which should do a lot for his confidence moving forward.
“It feels good," Joe stated after the game. "I think the position that I’m in, it’s about going into the game, being consistent, doing what I do best, and showing that I can play both ends of the ball. If I continue down this road, hopefully, it will lead me to success and that’s what we’re shooting for.”
It's unclear if Joe's preseason success will earn him a spot in the regular-season rotation, but the second-year guard is certainly making a strong case for head coach Doc Rivers to implement his young sharpshooter on the court when the games count the most.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.