Sixers Rookies Show Out in Historic G League Win

Isaiah Joe Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Isaiah Joe of the Philadelphia 76ers is introduced before a game against the Denver Nuggets.

The mid-season break hasn’t gone quite according to plan for the Philadelphia 76ers, as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid suddenly find themselves in quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19. However, good things have been happening in the G League, where a pair of Sixers rookies just lit it up.

On Monday, the team’s two late second-round picks from the 2020 NBA Draft — Isaiah Joe and Paul Reed — put on a show for the Delaware Blue Coats in what was a milestone win for Philadelphia’s developmental affiliate.

By defeating the Austin Spurs in blowout fashion, 124-103, the team logged a win in its first-ever playoff contest. The club had previously played in the 2009 D-League Finals in a previous incarnation as the Utah Flash, but Monday’s victory was the first of its kind since it was relaunched in Delaware.

And it largely came as a direct result of standout performances from Joe and Reed.

Isaiah Joe Finds His Mojo

When Joe was reassigned to the G League ahead of the All-Star break, Sixers coach Doc Rivers made it clear that the move was temporary. After all, the Sixers were hanging it up for a while and the former Arkansas star was in need of court time.

However, his performance through two games didn’t exactly inspire confidence in his ability to return and contribute. The shooting guard struggled mightily to find the net as the Blue Coats closed out their regular season, making just 25 percent of his 28 field goal attempts and 18 percent from distance.

Even his jersey failed to deliver.

Against the Spurs, though, Joe displayed the same shooting stroke that earned him significant minutes in January when the Sixers’ lineup was ravaged by contact tracing. In 34 minutes of play, Joe scored an efficient 28 points on 18 shots and knocked down seven of his 15 shots from three-point range.

It was the same floor-spacing ability he showed during his time in Philly earlier this season when he connected on better than 38 percent of his triples.

Joe also added four rebounds, three assists and a steal in the contest. As a result, Delaware outscored Austin by 18 points when he was in the game.

Paul Reed 76ers

GettyPhiladelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed fights for the ball against the Denver Nuggets.

Paul Reed’s Continued Domination

That Reed posted an all-around gem in the game — putting up 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot — should come as no surprise. For the duration of the G League’s bubble campaign, the two-way signee has dominated every phase of the game.

The 6-foot-9 forward started in all 15 of the Blue Coats’ regular-season games, averaging better than 22 points (on shooting splits of 59-44-79), 12 boards and just under two steals and two blocks per contest. As noted by Kevin Pelton, he led the field in WARP by a significant margin.

Although he has yet to receive an extended look at the NBA level, the comfort level he has developed as a shooter from multiple spots on the floor and his defensive prowess could make him a depth option for the Sixers going down the stretch.

Particularly if they have to move multiple players to acquire another difference-maker ahead of the league’s March 25 trade deadline.

Up Next

The Blue Coats will look to punch their ticket to the 2021 G League Final on Tuesday night when the team goes head-to-head with Raptors 905. The game tips off at 9:15 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPNU.

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