Philadelphia 76ers: Isaiah Joe can impact a game like Georges Niang

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Boy, oh boy, the Philadelphia 76ers could use another shooter.

While the addition of James Harden undoubtedly helps to cover up for the team’s overall perimeter deficiencies, as the former MVP had already drained eight 3s through two games, when “The Beard” is off the court, 3 point shots have been rather hard to come by.

Take, for example, the stats of Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz since Harden made his debut. We’re talking combined 3-10 shooting from the field and 1-7 from beyond the arc, with neither performer looking particularly effective playing next to or in place of Tyrese Maxey.

*sigh* but what are the Philadelphia 76ers to do? Should they pray Gary Harris agrees to a buyout and can magically fix the team’s shooting guard woes? Or should the team instead scour the G-League for a premier bomber capable of hitting dingas, as Brett Brown would say? Fortunately, I have good news, as the team already has an intriguing shooter just waiting on the bench for his next opportunity.

Isaiah Joe is just waiting for his next opportunity with the Philadelphia 76ers.

It’s easy to write off Isaiah Joe; he’s skinny, young, and a former second-round pick.

Sure, he shot the lights out during his two seasons at Arkansas, averaging 10.6 3 point attempts per game during his sophomore season in Fayetteville, but his efficiency wasn’t elite, and that production surely wouldn’t translate to the NBA based on usage rate alone.

And yet, when Joe has been afforded an opportunity to play more than 10 minutes per game, Joe has played fairly well. He’s averaged 7.69 points in 33 games and made 77/194 3 pointers for a shooting percentage of 39.7. Are those stats a tad cherry-picked? You bet, Joe has only recorded double-digit minutes in 33 of his 83 games as a pro, and typically, when a player averages more minutes, they are going to score more points and shoot more 3s.

With that being said, when a player is a volume shooter, which Joe very much is, it’s hard to get into a rhythm when you only get a few minutes here or there to try to get something going.

You know, if Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz keep bricking shots from beyond the arc, why not see if Joe can keep a beat for a prolonged period of time?

When Joe is on the court, he’s rarely spending too much time thinking about what to do next. He’s running around off the ball fishing for an open look, cutting to the basket when the opportunity presents itself, and most importantly of all, shooting 3s as soon as the ball touches his fingers. Of Joe’s 2.7 3 point attempts per game, 85 percent of them came without taking a dribble, which is the second-highest percentage of any player on the team behind only Georges Niang.

Considering how well Niang has fared as a catch-and-shoot specialist playing off of Joel Embiid and James Harden, incorporating a second player with a Johnny Madrid Lancer-esque shooter would surely make the Sixers a better team, right? I mean, both members of “EmBeard” need shooters to space the floor and take advantage of open looks via double-teams; why not try to slot Joe into that role? Sure, both Milton and Korkmaz add the extra dimension of secondary ball handling to any lineup they are a part of, but with Maxey and Harden now on the court for basically the entire game, how useful is that really? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have an additional floor spacer on the court, especially alongside players like Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris, who have attempted 16 3s combined over the past two games?

Come on, Doc; make the change.

Next. Is Willie Cauley-Stein going to get a chance to play?. dark

A month or more ago, playing Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz over Isaiah Joe made some sense. The team was without a true backup point guard, and the duo both helped to soak up minutes when Tyrese Maxey needed a rest but now, with James Harden finally wearing a red, white, blue, and sometimes Spectrum-inspired uniform, that is less of an issue for the Philadelphia 76ers. No, unless the team can go out and secure an ace shooter on the buyout market – not that one is currently available – reincorporating Joe into the rotation could be the easiest way to provide some additional firepower off of the bench and capitalize on the double teams drawn by Harden and Joel Embiid.