'No-tomorrow' credo keeps Hump's minutes up

MIKE GANTER

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

SAN ANTONIO -- Kris Humphries believes its best to convince himself that his role with the Raptors has never changed.

In the Raptors forward' s mind, each day could mean the return to the sporadic minutes, to never knowing how much you're going to be asked to play or whether you'll be asked to play at all that was his NBA life.

Things, however, have changed for Humphries over the past three or four weeks and while it remains a small sampling of his overall career, he has shown enough in that period to suggest he may have turned a corner of sorts.

In November, Humphries averaged 11 minutes a game and put up 3.4 points and three rebounds per night. In December, prior to last night, Humphries is averaging 21:30 a night and putting up 10.9 points and 5.75 rebounds.

Humphries can't put his finger exactly on when he believes his situation turned for the better, and he is leery enough of a return to his previous role that he doesn't even want to consider it.

"It just kind of happened," Humphries said. "But a guy in my position, you just have to keep working like you're not playing and bring the same effort and hunger because you never know. A lot of times coaches change things up and often it's not because of something you are doing specifically, but something else. Strange things happen in the NBA. You never know. I might not play tonight."

But talk to head coach Sam Mitchell about the role Humphries has played himself into and there is no grey area. Humphries is playing because he has earned it and as long as he keeps doing what he has been doing, those minutes will be there for him.

"It's Hump doing what he is supposed to do," Mitchell said. "It has nothing to do with injuries or anything else. If he does what he's supposed to do, he plays. If he doesn't, he won't. And hopefully he's figured out what he needs to do. The last three weeks, he's figured it out."


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