Jan 25, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Hollis Thompson (31) tries to save a ball from going out of bounds during the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center. The Thunder defeated the Sixers 103-91. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sneaky Success of Hollis Thompson

Any casual fan of the Sixers is aware of the immediate success that rookie, Michael Carter-Williams has achieved this season. What is flying under-the-radar however, is the success that fellow rookie, Hollis Thompson is having. Hollis Thompson was one of those, low-risk, high-reward, players that Sam Hinkie gave a flyer to in training camp. Thompson spent his college days at the infamous Georgetown University and while he is no Allen Iverson, the former Hoya has been making a case to stick in Philadelphia for more than just one season.

In three years at Georgetown, Thompson averaged 8.7 points per game. But, this is not the impressive part about his game. He doesn’t score in bunches, but he’s extremely efficent. Over the course of three years at Georgetown, Thompson knocked down his three-pointers at a 44 percent clip, while shooting 48 percent from the field. Thompson never shot under 43 percent from deep during his three years at Georgetown.This same efficiency has made it’s way over to the NBA.

His rookie season with the Sixers won’t be remembered by most, certainly because he’s only averaging 5.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG. However, Thompson has limited shots to take with the brute of the offense going through MCW, Turner, Young and Hawes. Thompson is averaging 4.8 field-goal attempts per game this season. Like I said, the most impressive part has been his efficiency.

This season, Thompson is shooting 47 percent from the field and 35 percent from deep. His 35 percent shooting from deep is fourth amongst all rookies this season. Thompson’s three-point percentage has gone up every month, from 30 percent in November, to 34 percent in December and 42 percent in January. The month of January has been the best of Thompson’s young career, as can be solidified by his 42 percent shooting from deep.

In January, Thompson is averaging 6.0 points and 3.4 rebounds. He’s shooting 54 percent from the field, which is a mark that even LeBron James and Kevin Durant would have to respect, if they even knew who Thompson was, that is.

Thompson has been a starter for 18 games this season, averaging 6.9 points and 4.3 rebounds on 45 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from deep. He is playing 27.7 minutes per game when starting, compared to 16.3 when coming off the bench.

But, basketball is about being productive on both ends of the court, right? Well, Carmelo Anthony might not agree, but for a rookie like Thompson, playing defensive is a way to make sure he stays in the Association. Per Chris Vito of delcotimes.com, Brett Brown has identified Hollis Thompson as a Bruce Bowen type player that has the foot speed and length to stay on elite players and disturb them.

Thompson had the following to say about the role that Brett Brown wants him to play:

“Whatever’s gonna get you on the court,” Thompson said. “(Brown) just tells me he wants me to come in and make it hard for somebody. Just the little things like putting a hand up on somebody and contesting shots.

“He’s an awesome defender. I’ve got a long way to get there, but I’d love to be a Bruce Bowen-type defender.” said Thompson.

Sam Hinkie took a chance on Hollis Thompson for his shooting and exceptional length as a shooting guard. If you didn’t know, Thompson stands at 6-8 and weighs 206 lbs. That’s incredible size for a shooting guard, considering Charles Barkely was only 6-6. He was a low-risk, high-reward guy and like usual, Hinkie looks like a genius for taking a shot on Thompson. Obviously, the player development expert that Brett Brown has been honored as, has to figure in with the increased performance of Thompson. Brett Brown is a fan of Thompson and I believe he would be vying for Hinkie to bring Thompson back next season.

I know that Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Nerlens Noel and possibly Thaddeus Young are the only pieces that have a chance of being on this roster next year. However, I don’t think it would be a bad move to bring Thompson back for another year, or two. He has proved his worth as a player and he has rare size for a two-guard, that isn’t seen that often.

I’d be happy if Thompson was back with the Sixers next season, would you?

Tags: 76ers Brett Brown Hollis Thompson Philadelphia 76ers Sixers

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