Stating The Case For Hollis Thompson To Start


Hollis Thompson is a name that has been overlooked all offseason. Thompson is tied with Tony Wroten (and technically Nerlens Noel) for the longest tenured Philadelphia 76ers player during a rebuilding program that has seen quite a bit of player turnover. This doesn’t say much, but it does show that  the Sixers coaching staff and front office believes that the 6’8″ shooting guard could make somewhat of an impact during this process.

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Maybe the reason Thompson has been somewhat of the forgotten one on this Sixers team is because of the acquisition of new fan favorite shooting guard Nik Stuaskas, or maybe because he has been just quietly consistent in his two years with the team. Either way, the Thompson-Stauskas position battle will not be as one sided as many fans think.

Thompson has proven to be a consistent shooter, once again shooting around 40% from three point range in his second NBA season while attempting 120 more shots from behind the arc (167 in 2013-14, up to 287 in 2014-15). Thompson finished the 2014-15 season with the 12th best three point percentage for a shooting guard in the NBA. Thompson also shot above 43% from the field. He brings a consistent shot to an otherwise “hot and cold” shooting lineup. With Jahlil Okafor stepping in as the Sixers’ main scoring option, Thompson’s shooting will compliment the big man well, allowing him to serve as a catch and shoot option on the outside when Okafor is in trouble in the post.

Hollis also brings a nice chemistry to the lineup, already having put up solid numbers with small forward Robert Covington and PF/C Nerlens Noel on the court. The three man combo ranked only 2nd to Thompson/Noel/Luc Mbah a Moute in 2014-15.

Thompson’s defense is nothing fantastic, but his length and size at the shooting guard position can prove to be effective. A lineup including Thompson, Covington, Noel, and Okafor combines both size and some type of speed. With the small ball revolution at its peak, seeing the Sixers try to combat that with putting tall athletic guys on the court would be refreshing. Thompson will have to have to show a better effort and more intensity on defense for him to solidify himself as the everyday player.

Although his assist numbers won’t blow you away, Thompson shows his unselfishness with his selective shooting. Thompson attempted just 4 shots when a defender was 5 ft. or closer, according to Thompson is a smart shooting guard who will allow the offense to come to him, instead of forcing the issue.

Overall, the main factor to picking Thompson over Stauskas, is the proven consistency Thompson has exemplified in the past two seasons. With Stauskas showing his rookie growing pains, Thompson can be the one to fill in the everyday role while Stauskas continues to be groomed. Thompson knows the offense Brett Brown wants, he executes on his shots, and he is unselfish.

Thompson is the safer and slightly more proven option at shooting guard, compared to Stauskas (aka Sauce Castillo) who struggled his rookie year in Sacremento. With training camp underway and preseason inching closer, Hollis Thompson and Nik Stauskas are players to watch as the battle for starting shooting guard will heat up, and don’t be shocked if we see “Sauce” stirring on the bench to start the season.

Next: Stating The Case For Isaiah Canaan To Start

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