Can Isaiah Joe Take Advantage of Opportunity to Earn Consistent Minutes?

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff Writer

The Philadelphia 76ers have a multitude of young players who have yet to crack the team's rotation on a consistent basis, whether it be because of lack of trust or lack of opportunity from being buried in the depth chart. Isaiah Joe is near the top of that list, and he will potentially get his opportunity over the next couple games.

Danny Green was forced to leave the team's win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday late in the first half with what the team announced was a finger laceration. He could miss at least a week, according to PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck.

Joe, a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, has yet to consistently crack the Sixers' rotation at any point over his first two years in the league. He has played in 45 games this season, averaging 3.8 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game. He is usually a solid three-point shooter, but he is having a down year in that department, connecting on just 33.1 percent of his 2.6 attempts per game.

With Green's injury and Furkan Korkmaz struggling mightily, head coach Doc Rivers gave Joe some minutes on Monday against the Bulls. This could be his best chance to earn some consistent minutes as he is likely to be the next man up in the rotation over the next couple games until Green returns. Joe spoke on Wednesday about his mindset heading into this stretch.

"Just going out there and doing what my team needs me to do," Joe said. "Don’t try to do too much, stay within myself. For me, they want me to shoot the ball and play solid defense and that’s what I’m gonna do out there each and every night so just really focus on that right now."

While Joe is having a down season as a shooter, playing next to James Harden could really help him get more open looks. Harden creates a ton of gravity for everyone around him, as shown on this catch-and-shoot three from Joe in the win over Chicago.

The Sixers have been running out lineups surrounding Harden with shooters, and Joe would be a good fit. He is not afraid to pull the trigger from beyond the arc, taking 8.0 attempts per 36 minutes this season.

This might be Joe's last, best opportunity to earn consistent minutes this season. It will be an interesting storyline to watch over the next week or two.