Submitted by Cory Bernstein of Hoops Talk Nation
Brooklyn’s Finest 15 is the ranking of all 15 Nets based on what I think will be their impact on Brooklyn this season. Here’s number 5, Kris Humphries
Kris Humphries followed up his breakout 2010-11 season with another impressive campaign for the Nets. Hump was booed a lot last year for his crazy personal life, but it seemed to have little affect on his play. He averaged 13.8 points and 11 rebounds, racking up double doubles on a nightly basis. Humphries was rewarded for his efforts with a two year, twenty-four million dollar contract, which looks like a horrible deal until one realizes we had Humphries bird rights and Billy King had permission from Prokhorov to make it rain on free agents this summer.
Offensively, Humphries will continue to be a great player. He should have a high field goal percentage and conast season, and should continue to integrate an effective elbow jumper into his offensive arsenal. Unlike prior seasons, Humphries’ defenders were forced to guard him outside the paint area, something that opens up the low-post game for Brook Lopez. Hump plays on offense like a poor man’s Blake Griffin, as his thunderous slams and great rebounds lead to many of his points. This season, Hump will be able to take a more secondary role in the offense, which will certainly decrease his offensive output but increase his efficiency. Paired with Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries will continue to be one of the dozen or so best offensive power forwards.
Humphries is not a terrible defender, but he is not a good one either. He amazingly produced an identical PER to that of power forwards he defended against (17.3). He is a good shot-blocker, but not a great enough rim protector to change the course of a game. He and Lopez will be a poor defensive unit. For the Nets to be true contenders, both Humphries and Lopez need to step up their games on the defensive end.
I am a fan of Kris Humphries. I like his energy and enthusiasm towards basketball, and it is hard no to like the way he plays. However, I don’t think he is the right fit for this Net squad. I understand the Nets were in a situation where they pretty much had to bring back Humphries if they wanted a power forward, and he cost nothing against the salary cap. But, Humphires and Brook Lopez are simply not a strong defensive tandem. The Nets will get killed by teams on the inside like the Hawks who have two strong front court players, and the rim will not be protected. If Humphries is able to become a very good defender, his importance and value to the Nets will skyrocket. But, there are enough great offensive players on this team that a defensive minded power forward would help the Nets much more than Humphries.