2013-2014 Key Stats
Games played, started: 69, 30
Total minutes, per game: 1376, 19.9
Points per game: 8.4
Field goals: 231-461 (.501)
Rebounds per game: 5.9
Total blocks 61
Free throw pctg: 81.3%
It seemed like for the first time in a long time – maybe in forever – Ernie Grunfeld could do no wrong in the offseason. Read that out loud to yourself one more time with a straight face. The signings came fast, and furious. Within a stretch of 18 days, Ernie resigned a now mohawked Marcin Gortat, landed Paul Pierce, acquired DeJuan Blair, and landed Kris Humphries. Not trying take anything away from the other players because they are all valuable parts to this team if Washington is going to compete for an Eastern Conference title, but I feel like the acquisition of Humphries may end up being the most significant for many reasons.
Humphries provides depth for the Wizards front court in multiple positions. I don’t think anyone is expecting Nene to play the minutes he played last year and quite frankly, before his injury, I was shocked that he was able to stay as healthy as he had been up until that point in the season. Humphries can step in and play power forward or even center. His 6’9, 235 pound frame may be too small to play center, but for small stretches of the game, he could be used there if Randy Wittman chooses to give Gortat or Blair a few minutes off.
Take note of how Kevin Seraphin was not mentioned.
What Humphries doesn’t have in size, he makes up for with grit and production. I often times remember watching him play against Washington and consistently hitting mid range jumpers, backing down guys like Kevin Seraphin and Trevor Booker, and fighting for every loose ball. I specifically remember the first game following the lockout in 2011 when Humphries destroyed the Wizards to the tune of 21 points and 16 rebounds in a game in which the Wiz kids had a 20 point lead to start the game.
I give Humphries a lot of credit. For someone who was a high draft pick and has gone through some major adversity and even a PR nightmare, he’s been able to actually improve his game in some aspects each season and remain a valuable player for multiple teams. Since coming in to the league in the 04-05 season, Humphries has gone from a 40% shooter to a 50% shooter. From 3 rebounds a game to at one point, averaging 11. From 0.3 blocks per game to 1.2. From 4.1 points to 13.8 and probably the most significant one from 43% free throw shooting to 81.3% In fact, his free throw shooting is so good, NBA refs have been known to try and stop him from shooting to avoid the Toronto Raptors organization further embarrassment.
The highs and lows of last season
Despite not playing in every game last season, Humphries did play in 69 of them for a dreadful Boston Celtics team. How dreadful you ask? 25 wins dreadful. But he did have some awesome moments. Most notably what comes to mind is the game against the Pelicans in which New Orleans thought they had the game won with an Anthony Davis jumper only to have Kris Humphries send them back to their Hornets days with a game tying shot at the buzzer with 1.4 seconds left.
Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad and on January 8, Kris Humphries passed away. No, not literally, but if you ask Blake Griffin, he will tell you he has his tombstone up on his mantle next to his zero championship rings and certificate of appreciation from Team U.S.A.
If you Wizards fans want an idea as to what Humphries really brings to the table, I encourage you all to watch this highlight tape from a game against the Hawks back on March 31. This is a game in which Humphries had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds and showed everyone what he’s capable of doing. He can start the break, finish the rush, hit open jump shots and be a force in the middle. I expect a lot of highlights like this given Washington’s uptempo style of play. With John Wall leading the break and pushing the tempo, I can’t see why Humphries can’t have 10-15 games such as this one against Atlanta
For all the negative attention Humphries has garnered during his brief career, he’s also a very charitable person? How charitable you ask? So charitable that he even thought about giving the Cleveland Cavaliers something they couldn’t get all season…2 points.
But then he was like “nah, bruh.”
Expectations in Washington
If I am Kris Humphries, I can not wait for this season to start. Coming to D.C. right now might have been the best thing to happen to his career. When was the last time you were able to say that as a Wizards fan? Kris is still in the prime of his career and coming in to a situation where he could be a vital player for many years to come. Who knows, if an injury or two happens he could even find himself starting in a significant amount of games. He’s coming to franchise that has its eyes set on competing for an Eastern Conference title and possibly even an NBA title, not just this year, but for the foreseeable future as well. The only thing the Celtics were competing for last year were more ping pong balls in the draft lottery and that looks to remain the same for the foreseeable future as well.
I’m sure playing in a situation like that has to make you hungry and as a result, I predict we’re going to see the best of Kris Humphries here in our Nation’s Capital. He’s going to have the opportunity to run the floor with the best point guard in the Eastern Conference. Yeah, I said it. He’s going to play along side Nene and Gortat at times and in the Wizards fast paced style of offense, he’s going to get a lot of easy transition buckets. Oh, and there’s that Bradley Beal guy. I hear he’s pretty good.
Welcome to D.C. Mr. Humphries! Christmas has come early for you. Enjoy all your new toys and let’s bring more hardware to D.C.