Hollis Thompson's ability to shoot could help him remain with the 76ers for seasons to come.
So far, it's one of the things that has kept him as the team's lone healthy holdover from the first half of last season.
"He's the only one that has survived that period of time," said coach Brett Brown, whose Sixers (15-52) entertain the Detroit Pistons (24-43) Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center. "To his credit, he's survived a lot of times where he hasn't performed well and he's been sick. He's been in and out [of the starting lineup], and he just doesn't go away."
The 6-foot-8, 215-pounder was inserted back into the starting lineup at small forward Monday in a 108-89 road loss to the Boston Celtics. He responded with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting in his first start since Dec. 19. It was his 22d start of the season.
Thompson had been a regular in the starting lineup before he missed 11 consecutive games with an upper respiratory infection.
While he has been a key reserve since his return, the undrafted second-year player is averaging 12.2 points on 50 percent shooting over the last five games. He's shooting 47.1 percent on three-pointers in the 14 games since the all-star break.
"He's had a great year," Brown said of Thompson, who is averaging 8.2 points and making 38.6 percent of his three-pointers this season. "He's shooting the ball well, especially since the all-star break. . . . I give him credit, because he just comes with a great attitude. You know, somebody that has proven to be a tremendous teammate."
That's because the 23-year-old says he couldn't care less about his role. He enjoys coming off the bench as much as he does starting.
"It's just a blessing to be able to play basketball," said Thompson, who also plays shooting guard. "So [no matter] what position I'm at and how many minutes I get, I'm just happy to be able to play the game I love to play. I love my team. I love my coaches. So I'm happy."
His outlook and his career three-point percentage (39.3) have helped him become the lone constant in what has been a revolving-door season for the Sixers.