This season, under Avery Johnson, Kris Humphries started the first 20 of the Nets 25 games. With P.J. Carlesimo at the helm, however, he's started in exactly zero games. In fact, not only has he not started, but he's only logged 20-plus minutes in four out of nine games under Carlesimo.
So, needless to say, Humphries is trying to adapt to his new, less fruitful role coming off the bench. And in speaking with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, he made it clear that while he's tolerated his new role, he hasn't necessarily accepted it.
"Everybody wants to start and play as many minutes as you can, whether it's me or somebody else," Humphries said before the Nets' 91-83 victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night, Jan. 23, at Target Center.
"Obviously, it's a different mind-set for me. I have to give instant energy and try to lift the team since you're not playing the same amount of minutes."
Starting at power forward, in his place, has been Reggie Evans, who is arguably just as good of a rebounder (or better than...) as Humphries is and a more gifted defensive player (or, shall I say more "active"), but not nearly the offensive player that Hump is. The ultimate case for Evans, though, is that under Carlesimo, the Nets are 10-2 when he starts at power forward.
If it ain't broke, right?
The piece points out that Carlesimo hasn't had any discussions with his bigs about playing time, rather, he's been inserting them into the rotation as he sees fit. That's exactly what Carlesimo said he'd do, when the discussion of having "too much depth in the frontcourt" came up. He's never felt the need to discuss playing time, and he hasn't.
Humphries has taken it all in stride, though, saying all the right things -- such as, "I don't like coming off the bench, but I'll do what's best for the team."
And Carlesimo has been more than happy to give Hump credit, where his credit is due.
"I don't think he's happy with it, but he's handled it well," Carlesimo said. "It's not a comfortable situation for any of our big guys. Our rotation hasn't been real predictable. It's about who's playing well on a given night. That's how we've gone with it."
Humphries played 21 minutes last night against the Timberwolves, scoring just two points on 1-of-5 shooting and pulling down eight rebounds.
- Kris Humphries: Former Gopher adjusting to new role off the bench - Ray Richardson - TwinCities.com