Humphries proves to Celtics he can 'D' up

Humphries proves to Celtics he can 'D' up
November 26, 2013, 10:15 am
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BOSTON — Kris Humphries has been called a lot of things. There's "Hump" which is an abbreviated version of his last name. And let's not forget those NBA fans, some even sober at the time, who try to heckle him a "Mr. Kardashian," an old and tired jab at his 72-day marriage to Kim Kardashian.

But a solid defender?

Nope. He doesn't get that cat call . . . ever. But defensive efforts like the one he had in Boston's 96-86 win at Charlotte, may very well cast him in a much different light.

Humphries spent most of his 16-plus minutes on the floor guarding Al Jefferson who is one of the better scoring centers in the NBA. The former Celtic finished with 14 points and just three rebounds for the Bobcats (7-8).

"Hump did an outstanding job on him," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "Probably the key to the game was getting him to take contested jumpshots because he's a hard guy to stop one-on-one down there."

Humphries' defensive success goes beyond limiting Jefferson's rebounding and scoring around the basket. His defensive rating for the season is 101.5 which represents the number of points scored by opponents per 100 possessions when Humphries is on the floor.

In the win over Charlotte, Humphries' defensive rating was 78.6, easily his best performance defensively this season.

"As a guy playing inconsistent minutes, it's not going to happen every night for you," Humphries told recently. "You have to try and make it happen and do whatever you can to help your team win."

That's easier said than done, obviously.

Humphries' playing time now is coming in part because of the sprained right ankle injury suffered by Kelly Olynyk last week. Stevens said that the 7-foot rookie would likely miss about two weeks, which would put Olynyk's return sometime in early December.

In the meantime, Boston will continue to use different players to fill the void created by Olynyk's injury. That provides Humphries with a chance to play, which hasn't happened often this season.

But he's not about to start complaining.

"Every experience you try to take positives from it," Humphries said. "This is my tenth year and I'm still learning. There's positives to come out of every situation."