Sixers turning heads against strong teams
Sixers rookie Hollis Thompson is averaging just under 14 minutes per game this season. (USA Today Images)
INDIANAPOLIS – Hollis Thompson was wearing a boyish grin Friday night when members of the media asked him for a moment of his time. The rookie doesn’t get many interview requests averaging 4.2 points and playing nearly 14 minutes a game, but Friday night was different.
Thompson had just helped the Sixers defeat the Bucks at the Wells Fargo Center in overtime (see story). Thompson contributed a career-high 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting.
“I just have been working with the coaches as much as possible,” Thompson said. “I just was trying to get ready for when I got in the game.”
“He is a blue collar kid that has come in scratching and clawing doing anything he can to find NBA minutes,” Brett Brown said. “[Friday], his total package, all those things people have been working with him on he was able to show them all in a game that was a great win for us.”
Prior to Saturday's 106-98 loss to the Pacers (see story), after Thompson was done going through his pregame workout, he sat on the Sixers' bench with assistant coach Billy Lange looking at video of his game at both ends of the floor -- an exercise Thompson finds extremely helpful.
“I have been working on everything from defensive principles to coming off screens to shooting the ball," Thompson said. "Pretty much everything."
Thompson played his college basketball at Georgetown. In his three seasons there he developed a reputation as being a very good outside shooter. He shot 44 percent from behind the arc in his three years for the Hoyas. Thompson is trying to build a similar reputation at the NBA level.
“You hear me talk about putting in a good days work and we believe they will add up,” Brown said. “And he has done that. Billy Lange has been right there with him. Having been in that roll that Billy was is in many years ago, when you watch a player that you spend so much time with on the court you live and die with their move, you bleed with them.”
And in the case of Thompson Friday night, coaches shared in his success, too.