Kris Humphries will likely play a role in the Hawks’ Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cavaliers, according to coach Mike Budenholzer.
The late-season acquisition appeared in just one of the Hawks’ six playoff games against the Celtics in the first round. The center played 8:48 in a Game 5 blowout win, entering in the fourth quarter with the Hawks leading by 29 points. Budenholzer chose to use a combination of Mike Muscala and Mike Scott to combat the smaller and quicker lineup the Celtics used in the series. Humphries had five DNP-CDs.
“I think we’ll need Kris in this series,” Budenholzer said Saturday. “I can see us needing Kris and (Muscala) and everybody. I think Kris is always ready. He’s anxious. He’s let me know he is ready to go.”
Humphries had eight points, including two 3-pointers, and four rebounds in Game 5.
The Hawks open the best-of-seven series with Game 1 on Monday in Cleveland. The Cavaliers’ bigger lineup will be more of a problem for the Hawks. It was in last season’s conference finals when the Cavaliers had a big rebounding advantage, especially on the offensive glass.
“Cleveland has played a few different ways but obviously Tristan Thompson and rebounding and those types of things is something we feel Kris can help us with,” Budenholzer said. “But in their last series (a sweep of the Pistons), they put out a lot of smaller groups and Boston put out a lot of smaller groups. I think Kris will play and will help us in the series but so will Mike Muscala.”
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