Kris Humphries: New Jersey Nets Version of 'The Beast'

Jim MancariCorrespondent INovember 11, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 03:  Kris Humphries #43 of the New Jersey Nets controls the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Izod Center on March 3, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

We all remember the movie, The Sandlot. All the kids are terrified of "The Beast," but the dog turns out to have been a good guy all along.

Well, in the early going of the season, Kris Humphries has played the part of The Beast for the Nets. Opposing players are starting to fear his presence, but his heart and love for the game are constantly apparent as he runs up and down the court.

Humphries was acquired this past January in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks for Eduardo Najera. Kris played well for a struggling Nets team and began cementing his role for this season.

Boy, is that deal looking good for the Nets. Najera averaged only 3.3 ppg for Dallas and has since been traded to the Charlotte Bobcats.

In eight games this year, Humphries has a .719 field goal percentage and is averaging 5.4 rebounds and 6.1 points per game, solid numbers for a reserve.

But if Brook Lopez continues the inconsistent play he has shown thus far, the Nets may rely more and more on Humphries in big situations.

In last night's 95-87 victory against the Cavs, Humphries logged 40 minutes in his first start of the season, even though he is only averaging about 17 minutes per game. With the way he was playing, Avery Johnson simply could not take him out, and that decision paid off.

Humphries finished with a double-double, recording 13 points and 18 rebounds, six of which came off the offensive glass.

In Kris' postgame interview, you could see the shear anguish on his face, but also the pride that he took in his valiant effort.

This is his seventh year in the league, and based on his early-season play, he appears poised to have a breakout season. And it couldn’t happen to a better guy.

Though on the outside, Humphries appears to be “The Beast,” his all-out hustle dominates his play on the court, and hopefully we will continue to see that night in and night out.