Can Kris Humphries Be an X Factor for the Boston Celtics?


May 4, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kris Humphries (43) dunks against the Chicago Bulls during the second half in game seven of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Barclays Center. The Bulls won 99-93. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics don’t have very lofty expectations for next season. They’ve moved on from one of the better eras that the organization has seen and are now preparing to start anew. It may be a challenge to get things back on track with the Celtics, but can Kris Humphries help that cause?

Humphries was deemed as a moveable asset by the Brooklyn Nets, but the Celtics may be able to make great use of him here. In Boston, there will be a defense-first philosophy employed by new head coach, Brad Stevens. He’ll have a great backcourt defensively in Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo.

For the frontcourt, things are much more up in the air. If he can get Gerald Wallace to play to even 70% of what he was when he played for the Charlotte Bobcats, then the Celtics defense could vie for a top 10 to 15 slot in the NBA.

What the power forwards and centers do for the team will still be crucial, though. Jeff Green should be a steady defensive presence as a tweener forward–he was solid toward the end of last season. If he doesn’t face regression, he will give you versatility.

But Kris Humphries will be the real impact player that could take the Celtics defense to another level. Humphries is inherently the Celtics best rebounder on the team. The Celtics were atrocious throughout the big 3 era. Kris Humphries brings a much needed change of pace here.

Humphries averaged 5.8 rebounds last year in 18.3 minutes last season. He lost playing time to Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans last year, but per 36 Humphries averaged 11 rebounds per contest.

In the two seasons prior, Humphries was in the top 10 in rebounds per game ranking 5th in both seasons. In 2010-11 he averaged 10.4 rebounds per game and in 2011-12 he averaged 11 rebounds per game. Humphires was 3rd and 7th in total rebounding percentage in those years, respectively. He also had a solid PER of 17.8 and 17.9 in both years, proving to be a solid starter for the Nets.

In 2010 Humphries only averaged 27.9 minutes per game and in 2011 he averaged 34.9 minutes per game. He has shown that he can be a good rebounder with a decent minute averaged during the season. The Celtics will likely play Humphries for extended minutes, so I expect his rebounding numbers to translate the same way they have throughout his career.

Humphries isn’t going to bring the Celtics wins off of rebounding alone. There are a lot more factors that go into the game other than rebounding. But still, this is a huge factor. The Celtics will need his rebounding presence if they want to have one of the leagues best defenses.