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Kris Humphries ready for role reversal


Kris Humphries ready for role reversal

Through 57 games last season, Kris Humphries did his job and did it well. In the 58th game, the Washington Wizards power forward with a rebounding knack and a steady mid-range jumper suffered a groin injury. He eventually returned, but his role really never did.

Humphries averaged 21 minutes per game during the regular season. Other than All-Star John Wall, nobody on the Washington Wizards was better at their role during those first 57 games.

In the playoffs, the 11-year veteran played five minutes. Not per game. Five minutes total over 10 contests.

Humphries wasn't benched. Coach Randy Wittman tightened the rotation. The rotation included Drew Gooden, who emerged when the injury kept Humphries in street clothes for one month. Gooden's 3-point range kept him on the court in the postseason against the Raptors and Hawks.

Conversations with Wittman took place about his role. As far as Humphries is concerned, that was then. The 2015-16 season is here.

"We talked at the end of the year," Humphries said. "I'm kind of looking at this as a new opportunity. Last year, a lot of things come into play. Getting hurt at the end of last year.  We can't really focus on last year. It's more about what we got starting [this week]."

Two new scenarios will come into play. One involves shooting from distance. That's not exactly what he's known for -- Humphries last made a 3-pointer during the 2004-05 season -- but something he worked on throughout the offseason.

The other scenario is more familiar, though hardly a constant during his first season in Washington. Kevin Seraphin's exit left available minutes behind starting center Marcin Gortat. Nene likely picks up a few and perhaps a trimmer DeJuan Blair emerges after sitting most of last season. Though not considered a true rim protector, the 6-foot-9 Humphries likely spends some time at center as well.

"I've been playing five, four. I came into the league playing some three, though that's a long time ago. I think I'm skilled enough to do a lot of different things and physical enough to play under the bucket," Humphries said. "There are really only a couple of guys at center that teams really worry about, that you have to shift your defense for and all teams have issues with those couple of guys. I've played center. I've play four. We'll see what happens."

Here's one thing we can assume will happen this season: Kris Humphries is back in the regular rotation. The evolution with his shot and position may determine how many minutes he receives for the suddenly small-ball thinking Wizards -- and whether he keeps his role should the Wizards return to the playoffs for a third straight year.

[RELATED: Wall gets legendary praise for off-court charity work]

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:


2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:


4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:



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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets (26-33) for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, they were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.


Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:


Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.