Agree with Drew here:
Yes. Isaiah Joe is playing good on the Thunder. Enough. Who gives a shit. OKC is ass. Time to grow up.
— Drew Smith (@drewmsmith) January 4, 2023
That was in response to a 21-point effort from the former Sixer, who shot 8-13 and 3-7 from three in a 150-117 win against the Celtics (without SGA). Naturally, Sixers Twitter logged on to say that Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers failed to develop Joe, failed to give him playing time, failed to blah blah and all of that.
Here’s what Isaiah Joe is doing this season for OKC:
- 12.8 minutes per game (1.7 MPG increase)
- 4.7 FGA per game (1.5 per game increase)
- 47.9% from the field (up from 35%)
- 3.7 attempted threes per game (up from 2.5)
- 44.6% from three (up from 33.3%)
- 7/2/1 statline on average (up from 3.5/1/1)
- 30 games played, 1 start (55/1 last year)
He’s been better, and his shooting percentages are much improved, but the Sixers didn’t let go of 1994 Dana Barros here. Joe is a bench player on a shitty tanking team, which is much more favorable to the development of a young player than trying to find minutes on a title contender. Sure, you could absolutely say that Doc should have found more time for him, specifically over Furkan Korkmaz, but even then Joe would have been a fringe rotational guy behind Niang/Milton/Thybulle and had an even smaller role in the postseason. Swapping Furkan’s 10 minutes and 5/2/0 statline in the Miami series for Isaiah Joe wasn’t getting the Sixers into the Eastern Conference Finals anyway, especially with rotations shrinking beyond the first round.
Hopefully Joe continues to improve with the Thunder. That’s a much better environment for him, and the timeline for that team matches his development curve as a 23-year-old player. Doc and the coaching staff have certainly left a lot to be desired with bench usage over the years, but Sixers fans tend to go overboard every time some cast off has a decent game for another team. We’re not going on an Isaiah Joe victory tour here.