As a second-round draft selection, Philadelphia 76ers guard Isaiah Joe didn't see too much playing time during his rookie effort. Although COVID-19 protocol complications probably put him on the court more than expected last season, Joe averaged less than 10 minutes of playing time in 2020-2021.
However, during the 41 games he saw action, the former Arkansas standout showed some solid flashes on both ends on the floor. Now, he's looking to make a big jump in year two, and so far, he's off to a solid start.
When Sixers youngsters and roster hopefuls took the court in Las Vegas two months ago, Joe was easily one of Philly's best players on the floor. Now, his Summer League success is translating on the court in the preseason.
During Philly's loss against the Toronto Raptors on Monday night, Joe was a lone standout coming off the bench. In a rather forgettable game, Joe hit on five of his nine shots and averaged 50-percent from deep, collecting 18 points.
On Thursday, he had similar flashes. In 22 minutes of action off the bench, Joe accounted for 15 points and drained five of his seven shots from the field, nailing three of his four three-point attempts. Following the Sixers' first preseason victory on Thursday night, Joe received praise from Philly's respected veteran Tobias Harris.
"He's doing a great job," Harris said following Thursday's victory. "He's very humble with the way that he works. He comes in every day. He gets up probably the most shots out of anybody on the team, but I think if you asked anybody about Isaiah, there aren't enough positive things to say. He just goes out there and plays his game sound, solid as ever, offensively and defensively as you're seeing."
Doc Rivers said following Monday's game that the Sixers' coaching staff wants to make sure Joe gets more minutes during the preseason. As the second-year guard is battling for a spot in the team's primary rotation during the regular season, he knows he needs to continue to stand out over the next two games. And Tobias Harris is confident Joe will be able to do that.
"As he continues to play and gain confidence, more things are going to come on the horizon," Harris finished. "He's done a great job all throughout training camp and even in the two games that he's played."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.