- Green Street - http://greenstreet.weei.com -

Kris Humphries just needed a change of scenery

An excerpt from a column titled, “Reality check: In defense of Kris Humphries [1].”

As a joke, Keith Bogans placed a picture of the Rajon Rondo [2]Kris Humphries brawl in the practice facility locker room, asking who’€™d win the fight, and the results were split. Danny Ainge praised the 10-year NBA veteran’€™s early arrival ‘€œin great shape,’€ the younger players credited his leadership during pre-camp workouts, the vets applauded his physicality during practice and Brad Stevens [3] awarded him the starting center spot.

And despite being forced out of position, Humphries said all the right things, setting a positive tone for what will surely become a difficult juggling act for the coach, who will ask a lot of his players to do the same because of the redundancy on his roster.

‘€œWhatever helps this team,’€ said Humphries. ‘€œI trust the coaches, so I’€™ve just got to do what I’€™m asked to do. I’€™m obviously more naturally a 4, but I’€™m willing to play 5.’€

In that role, Humphries totaled 11 points (4-8 FG) and four rebounds in his 23:46, and he wasn’€™t satisfied. ‘€œI wasn’€™t really happy with the way I rebounded,’€ he said.

The rebounds will come. Humphries averaged double-digit boards per 36 minutes in each of his last seven seasons. A more encouraging development? He shot 4-of-5 between 15-19 feet. To put that in perspective, Humphries made 21 field goals from that range all of last season, shooting just 36.2 percent on those long 2’€™s in 2012-13.

Meanwhile, the first thing out of Humphries’€™ mouth upon meeting Stevens was, ‘€œHey, let’€™s run’€ — a departure from a Nets system that didn’€™t maximize his skills last season — and Monday’€™s performance in a 97-89 loss to the Raptors didn’€™t cut it, so he dragged Jeff Green [4] with him to run postgame sprints on a couple treadmills.

‘€œWe want to play at a faster pace,’€ said Humphries, still dripping in sweat from the workout. ‘€œJeff and I actually did a little bit of extra conditioning after the game, just to kind of get us going a little bit more, so we can build to the start of the season.’€

To read the column in full, click here [1]. And check out the rest of the coverage from Monday night’s game.