Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
P.J.: Humphries' success critical to Nets' postseason hopes
It’s been quite a ride for Kris Humphries these last few months.
After inking that two-year, $24-million pact in the offseason, he began the season as a starter. Then, Avery Johnson benched him in one of his final rotational decisions before Mikhail Prokhorov fired him two days after Christmas.
P.J. Carlesimo gave him another look, only to elect in early March to drop him from the rotation at a time when he felt like tightening it was the right way to go. Like a boomerang, Humphries re-emerged back into the cycle, though, picking up a decent game contribution-wise here or there.
All the while, mind you, he’s also been involved in a, let’s just say, very public divorce situation with ex-wife Kim Kardashian.
The good news? In extended minutes during Monday’s 106-101 win over the Wizards at the Barclays Center, Humphries went for 20 points and nine rebounds, playing a big role in game in which the Nets were resting six players and saving them so they could get some action in Wednesday's season finale versus the Pistons.
Humphries, who’s divorce settlement trial with ex-wife Kim Kardashian is scheduled for next month, hadn’t scored in double figures since going for 17 March 24 in Phoenix. Those nine boards were the most he’s snatched since wiping nine off the glass Feb. 5 against the Lakers.
Carlesimo basically said the Nets will get ousted from playoffs if Humphries doesn’t provide a huge, consistent jolt off the bench, coming through whenever his number is called.
“We need Hump,” the Nets interim coach said after the game. “We are not going to be successful in the playoffs unless we get the Kris Humphries that we know, where he can give us the defense, the offensive boards, the whole thing. So, it was a big step for him.
“I mean , 20 and nine is strong. Again, just the more time we can get him and the more success he has, the better it’s going to be. But it’s hard for me to envision us being successful without all of our bigs contributing."