Kris Humphries in the Old/New Year — A Wizards Preview Series | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Kris Humphries in the Old/New Year — A Wizards Preview Series

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Updated: October 2, 2015

[TAI’s preview/review series on the Wizards going forward with a look-back on those who graced the team in the past season continues. First up was Kevin Seraphin; then Paul Pierce; then Alan Anderson; then Otto Porter. Now: Kris Humphries, by Bryan Frantz. Read on…]

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I’ll admit, I was not a fan of Kris Humphries when the Wizards signed him before the 2014-15 season. I was hardly the only one to have negative feelings toward the guy, and as is the case with many who dislike him, I didn’t know his game all that well. But he won me over throughout the season with his willingness to crash the boards, his 1950s elbows-out baby-hop jumper, and his occasional displays of remarkable athletic ability.


Humphries was a quality role player in his first season with the Wiz,
averaging 8.0 points and 6.5 rebounds over 64 games. His primary responsibilities were to grab rebounds and space the floor—sort of—and he did both well enough. There has been talk recently about him extending his range to beyond the arc, but he has made exactly two 3-pointers in his NBA career, both of which came in his rookie season.

Still, Kris “My 3-Ball’s Wet” Humphries has confidence from distance. He attempted seven triples last year, the most he’s ever put up in a season, and with the Wizards allegedly looking to go small in 2015-16, this could be the year he starts hoisting up treys for real.

With Kevin Seraphin gone, Nene expected to take on a slightly reduced role, Drew Gooden now 34 years young, DeJuan Blair being DeJuan Blair, and the small-ball concept not yet a reality (much less a permanent reality), Humphries might very well find himself as Washington’s starting 4 at some point. In 17 games as a starter last season, filling in for an injured Nene, Humphries averaged 8.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 26.4 minutes per game. Gooden averaged 9.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 29 minutes over the seven games he started. Worth noting that, per NBA.com/stats, over the 673 minutes that Gortat and Humphries played next to each other, the Wizards were plus-4.8 in Net Rating (NetRtg, points per 100 possessions better or worse than the opponent). In 1,189 minutes featuring both Gortat and Nene, the Wizards put up a NetRtg of plus-7.6.

Nene is probably still the favorite to start at the 4, and there’s always the chance the Wizards go small and start Otto Porter or Jared Dudley there. Gooden might get a crack at the job, as well. But Humphries might make the most sense as the full-time starter, if Washington doesn’t begin games with a small-ball lineup. Gooden probably won’t hold up for a full season as a starter, and Nene hasn’t played more than 70 games in a season since 2010-11. Plus, the idea of a Dudley-Gooden-Nene frontcourt off the bench is somewhat appealing.

Best Moment

Humphries loved playing against the Denver Nuggets last season. Maybe the matchup was favorable, maybe the altitude cleared his mind, maybe he just really likes Colorado. Whatever the reason, Humphries went off in the two games against Denver to the tune of 41 points on 16-for-24 shooting and 18 rebounds.

The better of the two games came on January 25, when he put up 21 points and 14 boards in a game that kicked off an impressive personal run of four straight games with at least 11 rebounds.

Worst Moment

Humphries was one of the more consistently productive reserves for the Wizards last season, yet Randy Wittman decided to catch up with the times all of a sudden in the postseason, and his small-ball lineup did not have a place for Humphries. Drew Gooden, who isn’t necessarily anchored inside the 3-point line, was the primary beneficiary among big men, as he received a whopping 178 minutes in the postseason.

Humphries, meanwhile, managed just five total minutes, despite averaging 21 minutes per game and making 17 starts in the regular season. On Media Day Humphries addressed this by saying that the groin injury which caused him to miss a month of action from late-February to late-March was the reason he fell out of the postseason rotation, but there’s got to be more to it.

Curious Stat

The man hates short jumpers. Just hates them.

Humphries put up 446 shots in the 2014-15 season. Of those, 166 came from within five feet of the basket, and 206 came from at least 15 feet away. That means he attempted just 74 shots (16.6 percent of his FGA) from 5-to-14 feet out. That’s unusual for most players, but especially big men, and especially players in a Randy Wittman offense. It’s not far from Humphries’ standard, though. In 2013-14, he hit 44 of 106 (41.5 percent) from the 5-to-14-foot range, which represented just 23 percent of his field goal attempts.

The unconventional shot breakdown worked well for Humphries, though. He drained 57.2 percent of his shots from within five feet and 43.7 percent from outside 15; his field goal percentage from 5-to-14 feet was an abysmal 35.1 percent. For comparison’s sake, Marcin Gortat, hardly known for his jumper, shot 39.2 percent from the same range last season.

If Kris Humphries were a type of food or meal of food, he would be…

Bottomless mimosas at brunch. While wearing flip-flops. Not technically a food, but bros gonna bro.

 

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Bryan Frantz
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Bryan is a D.C. native with a degree in something or other from UNC. He has important, interesting hobbies, but mostly he just weeps over D.C. sports teams. You can find him on the Metro, inevitably complaining about Red Line delays.