BOSTON - Kris Humphries has come a long way.
He probably never thought that a) he would be playing for the Celtics, and b) he would be enjoying it.
Yet, here we are. Humphries' start to the season was a rocky one. Well actually, even before the season started it appeared rocky - did you see that introductory press conference?
But Hump is by all accounts the definition of a good teammate and what Celtics fans are seeing on the court is the definition of a double-double machine when given the minutes.
On Sunday, Humphries finished with 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting and 11 rebounds. Add two assists, two steals, and two blocks to that stat line, too.
In the last year of his deal, Humphries could have made a stink about his situation or asked for a trade at the deadline to a contender. But he didn't. Instead, he's embraced the team and the situation.
As for the rest of his former Brooklyn teammates? Well, their stories are little different. Keith Bogans is somewhere on his couch. MarShon Brooks is now in L.A., via Golden State. Gerald Wallace just underwent season-ending surgery on his knee.
"I'm just focused on having fun," Humphries said after the Celtics' 118-111 victory over the Pistons on Sunday night. "Working hard in practice and trying to finish the year strong. It's been a different year . . . I just have to continue to work, stay ready, and try to take advantage of opportunities."
That about sums up Humphries, who said it never got to the point for him where he talked to his agent about getting him out of Boston.
In fact, with Humphries set to his free agency, there's even a chance he comes back to Boston. Danny Ainge has plenty of decisions to make this offseason, but Humphries sees a lot of positives in this Celtics team's future.
"Definitely," Humphries said. "You look at the guys that we have, the young guys getting better. Rajon is getting healthier. Sully's been playing great this year . . . So yeah, I think the coaching staff too."
Here's the good, bad, & ugly from the victory:
Good: Jeff Green
With all the Rajon Rondo love going around, it's easy to overlook the improved play of Jeff Green as of late. Now, is Rondo's return and Green's play coming at the same time a coincidence? I think not. But many people have criticized Green for not being a consistent scorer on this Celtics team and they are completely justified in thinking that way. Lately, though, Green has shut those people up. He averaged 20.3 points per game in February, more than four points higher than his January average of 16.2. He's already had two 27-point games in March, too. Green has scored 20-plus points in five of the team's last eight games.
This team has been one of the biggest disappointments from a team standpoint all season long and it appears that it's not changing anytime soon. Before the season began, you'd be hard-pressed to find a single NBA fan or expert that thought they'd miss the postseason. Well, with 18 games left, the Pistons find themselves on the outside looking in. They're three games behind the Hawks for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference and a half-game up on both the Knicks and Cavs. Sunday marked was one of those games they had to have and should have won ... but just like most of this season, it ended in disappointment for them.
Ugly: Celtics out-sized
There really isn't a whole lot the Celtics can do about it: they're an undersized team playing against an oversized team. Prior to the game, Brad Stevens noted as much.
"They're very, very big for their positions which can be advantageous for them and sometimes not be advantageous," Stevens said of the Pistons. "Against us it has been an advantage that we haven't been able to expose enough on the other end in the first two games. And hopefully we can do a better job of that tonight."
Well, the Pistons still had plenty of success down low - just not enough to earn the victory. The Celtics will take that any day.
Andre Drummond had 18 points and 22 rebounds while Greg Monroe scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Josh Smith added 26 points and 11 rebounds.
All three combined for 47 of the team's 54 rebounds.
The Pistons as a team scored 64 points in the paint compared to the Celtics 44.