When the Nets traded for Kris Humphries in exchange for Eduardo Najera, I was pretty excited. Not only were the Nets able to get rid of Najera (who looked like he was running with a torn hamstring), but they brought in a young guy who showed flashes. Early on, it looked like the Nets got away with highway robbery as Humphries brought his defensive energy and that was a new attitude for this team. He was also scoring, in his first 9 games as a Net, Humphries reached double-digits 4 times (including two 20 point games), and got 9 two other times. Sure he was taking some tough jumpers, but he made them so it was ok. He’d settle down when he wasn’t as hot (shot 45.1% in January).
I was really high on Humphries, I was starting to think that the only reason he didn’t produce in his previous spots was just because he played behind really good players (Bosh in Toronto, Boozer in Utah, and Dirk in Dallas). However, Humphries has hit a rough patch over the past two months. He is still bringing the defensive intensity, there is no question about that. The offensive end has been a completely different story though. Remember those tough shots Humphries was making early on? Well, he’s still taking them, but not making them at the rate he was (45.1% in January – 39.4% since – keep in mind his minutes has bascially been the same during his stay here), and when he makes the catch on the high post, you can pretty much assume he is going up with it. No matter how well defended he is.
The question Nets fans and the Nets front office has to ask now is whether or not this is the real Kris Humphries or not, or was the real Kris Humphries the one we saw in January. Personally, I think the Humphries we have seen the past two months is the “true Kris Humphries.” The reason is Idon’t think he can maintain the shooting percentage to be an effective scorer in this league. He takes too many bad shots, and takes the offense out of his flow too much. He hasn’t only done this in New Jersey, this has been his knock every stop he has been at.
That’s not saying he isn’t a serviceable player, because I think he is one, but what I am concerned about is whether there is a spot for him on this team. Better yet, what is his role? One of the Nets’ biggest needs is power forward. I think Yi has proven he can’t handle the starting responsibilities, so the Nets will be bringing a starting power forward (that is pretty much assumed), but who is going to be the backup? In my opinion, Kris Humphries is the more valuable backup if you bring in an offensive minded PF to start, but are the Nets really going to stick Yi on the bench for good (Orlando showed that having 3 PFs on your roster doesn’t work – Brandon Bass hasn’t played much all year)? I guess what I am getting to is don’t expect to see much of Kris Humphries next year unless Yi goes down with an injury. Now, some of you guys may have already assumed that, but I have to admit, I got a little excited seeing a guy play with that type of intensity on the defensive end and being productive on the offensive end.