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Analysis: The more Hump the merrier

Last night in Phoenix, Kris Humphries got the start in place of a sore footed Nene and promptly finished with 11 points to go with 15 rebounds; six of them offensive.

A few nights ago against Denver, Hump scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds; four of those offensive. Not to mention, he was a vital part of securing a win that Paul Pierce inexplicably almost threw away.

What stands out most about Hump is his energy, as always. Every time he comes in, he goes hard. That, above all, is his greatest asset: energy that leads to fairly consistent scoring, and potent performance on both ends. (Yes, that entire paragraph was not-so-subtle Kardashian related innuendo).


Call these “Humpbacks”?


But knowing Kris Humphries brings that energy every game, I had to ask, where did that 11 and 15 come from? Or that 21 and 14? And if we can figure that out, how can we get more of it?

Well, unfortunately, it appears the Denver and Phoenix games were an aberration. Here are Kris Humphries’ numbers the last five seasons:

· 2010-2011: 10 ppg, 10 rebs, 3 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 53% FG

· 2011-2012: 14 ppg, 11 rebs, 4 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 48% FG

· 2012-2013: 6 ppg, 6 rebs, 2 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 45% FG

· 2013-2014: 8 ppg, 6 rebs, 2 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 50% FG

· 2014-2015: 8 ppg, 7 rebs, 2 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 47% FG

Granted, 8 and 7 is not bad coming off the bench, but Humphries has been in fairly steady decline for several seasons now. In other words…he just can’t perform at a high level anymore, night in and night out.

But wait! After watching Humphries in these two games, I never thought, “Wow, he played out of his mind tonight!” I knew he played well, but there was nothing I saw on either of these nights that looked like some kind of throwback performance. So let’s look a little deeper.

Here are the 2014-2015 stats of three bigs coming off the bench in the NBA this season:

· Player A: 11 ppg, 7 rebs, 3 off. Rebs 1 blk, 50% FG

· Player B: 9 ppg, 6 rebs, 2 off. Rebs, 1blk, 49% FG

· Player C: 8 ppg, 7 rebs, 2 off. Rebs 1 blk, 47% FG

You’d probably take player A, but none of those numbers really blow you away. But let’s look at those same players and their numbers PER 36 MINUTES:

· Player A: 14 ppg, 9 rebs, 4 off. Rebs, 2 blk

· Player B: 17 ppg, 12 rebs, 3 off. Rebs, 2blk

· Player C: 14 ppg, 11 rebs, 3 off. Rebs, 1 blk

Player A: Taj Gibson. Player B: David Lee. Player C: Kris Humphries!

Taj Gibson and David Lee?! Those two guys are widely regarded as the two best power forwards coming off the bench in the NBA. “They’d start on almost any other team” is the phrase you constantly hear in regard to those two, but neither starts due to the front court depth of Chicago and Golden State respectively.

But Kris Humphries? Those numbers compare very favorably to Gibson and Lee, and show him to be an extremely productive player in the time he is on the floor. And that’s not just this year. Look at Humphries past five seasons again, but through the lens of his PER 36:

· 2010–2011: 13 ppg, 14 rebs, 4 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 53% FG

· 2011-2012: 14 ppg, 11 rebs, 4 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 48% FG

· 2012-2013: 11 ppg, 11 rebs, 4 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 45% FG

· 2013-2014: 15 ppg, 11 rebs, 3 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 50% FG

· 2014-2015: 14 ppg, 11 rebs, 3 off. Rebs, 1 blk, 47% FG

Suddenly, we see a very different picture of Kris Humphries, and a picture that much more clearly explains where that 21 and 14 against Denver came from. Instead of climaxing in 2012 followed by steady decline, we see that Humphries has fact been performing at a consistently high level for the last five seasons, on par with highly touted bench bigs like Taj Gibson and David Lee. He just hasn’t been on the court that much. This season, Humphries is averaging 22 minutes per game. Last night in Phoenix and last Sunday against Denver, he played 33 minutes in each. Simple as that.

So don’t ask yourself why we don’t see more games like this from Kris Humphries. Ask yourself why (when Nene and/or Gortat aren’t rolling) we don’t see more of Kris Humphries in the game?

So has that been the issue all along? Was it always an issue of minutes and stamina, and not performance? For the answer to that, ask Kim.

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