The last thing the Brooklyn Nets thought they needed to worry about this season was the starting lineup. Well this is now in question as Kris Humphries has not played good defense in the preseason which is leading his head coach to question his role.
Humphries is a great rebounder and no one can dispute that fact but his pick and roll defense and all around awareness on defense leaves something to be desired. His intensity and desire is there but right now,with all the new pieces to the team, it is not clicking.
This has been an issue with head coach Avery Johnson this preseason and he spoke to the media about the starting lineup and expectations for his team.
“Everything is an open book for us,” Johnson said. “I’m not saying if we will or we won’t. I think my job is to make the best decisions to give us the best chance to win. And if that’s something that we need to do, we will. If we don’t need to do it, we won’t. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Humphries is aware of these issues and also knows that the Nets can go with a smaller lineup when needed to defend smaller power forwards.
The Nets can easily move Gerald Wallace to the four, put Joe Johnson at the three while moving Deron Williams to the two and CJ Watson running the point at specific times in games when the matchups call for it.
“At the end of the day everyone wants to play a ton of minutes, everyone wants to be a starter and do all these things,” said Humphries, who averaged career highs last season in points (13.8) and rebounds (11). “But the coach makes decisions.”
“If you work for 10 years to get this job, you’re going to cherish this job. But at the same time, you look at it where if you don’t start, it’s not the end of the world.”
Humphries is the ultimate team player and will do whatever is necessary to help the team but it cannot feel good when his name is being talked about in this manner.
The smaller lineup will see major time when they play the cross town rival New York Knicks on opening night at the Barclays Center due to the injury to Amare Stoudemire.
Nets fans should keep an eye on this situation as it looks like it can change at any point depending on the team the Nets play.
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