We missed Kris: Boro pumped because Humphries is out of his slump

for The Brooklyn Paper
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While the country has been focusing its collective attention on the darling Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast University and the madness that is college basketball in March, the Brooklyn Nets have pulled an upset of their own: proof of life for Kris Humphries.

The Mirza Teletovic experiment seems to come to an inconclusive end, at least for now. The big Bosnian sharpshooter spread the floor well, but didn’t really do what he was given minutes to do: make baskets. And then there was the whole issue of playing defense.

Enter Humphries. Again.

This column has often criticized Humphries for failing to live up to his previous on-court production after signing a fat offseason contract. And his poor performance also caught the eye of coach P.J. Carlesimo, earning him a temporary spot in “Peej’s” doghouse at the end of the bench.

But on a lengthy Nets road trip, Humphries seems to have rediscovered the fountain of last season — logging significant minutes for the first time in a long time.

Coming off the bench in a win against the Phoenix Suns, Humphries netted a season-high 17 points and was just two boards away from getting his first double-double since January 21 — a feat he averaged last year in New Jersey.

And while one game does not a comeback make, it sure was a pleasant surprise to see Humphries contribute offensively. Any semblance of an offensive threat from the power forward position is a welcome sight for a Brooklyn team that has lacked that extra punch all year.

Can Humphries keep it up? It is March madness — bigger upsets have happened.

Tom Lafe is a 6-foot-5 sports-world insider with a middling high school basketball career who believes the Nets will be driven by the success of the team’s big men.

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