Thompson: From D-League to NBA starter

76ers coach Brett Brown. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
76ers coach Brett Brown. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Posted: December 03, 2013

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Hollis Thompson made his first career start for the 76ers on Sunday.

The rookie started in place of James Anderson at shooting guard in the game against the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He finished with six points and six rebounds.

Coach Brett Brown informed Thompson of the news an hour before the game. Anderson had struggled lately, making just 2 of 19 three-pointers in the three games before Sunday's. Brown said he inserted Thompson for defensive purposes.

Thompson was averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds before the game. But those numbers were a bit misleading, considering his recent play.

He was averaging 9.5 points and 4.8 rebounds over the last four games. Thompson scored a career-high 16 points against the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 22.

Not bad for someone who spent last season in the NBA Development League.

Thompson went undrafted out of Georgetown in 2012. The 22-year-old went to the Oklahoma City Thunder's training camp before he was waived. He spent last season with the Thunder's D-League affiliate, the Tulsa 66ers.

"I think it's just a testament to hard work," he said of his journey from undrafted D-leaguer to NBA starter.

What was Thompson's reaction to being named a starter?

"I'd better play some good defense," he said. "That's what I thought to myself."

The Sixers ranked 28th among the NBA's 30 teams in three-point percentage defense (38.6) before the game. They ranked last in scoring defense.

Cheeks praises Brown

Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks is the latest opposing coach to speak highly of Brown.

Cheeks would know a thing or two about the process Brown is going through. He had stints in Philadelphia as a head coach, assistant coach, and standout point guard.

"He is doing a very good job," Cheeks said. "His guys, they play with energy. They play hard. They are just very scrappy. He gets a lot out of his players."


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