It was March 7.
I was at Vapiano in Chinatown enjoying a nice ham and arugula panini with a side tomato soup. My coworkers and I were about done when my boss came back from the soda fountain to inform us that the biggest man he had ever seen was ordering food. In my never-ending quest to see professional basketball players living life amongst normal people, I jumped up to take a look at who it could be. Right as I turned the corner, my eyes fluttered upwards a foot to meet those of none other than soon-to-be breakout star, Kevin Seraphin. I didn’t know what to say in English and I don’t speak French, so we simply shared an awkward moment for a few seconds before he went on to flirt with the cute bartender. That night, Kevin Seraphin went for 14 and 9 in a win against the LA Lakers, hitting what seemed like hook shot after hook shot after hook shot. He hasn’t looked back since.
Ever since that one fateful day, Kevin Seraphin has been on an offensive roll. He has shown a number of moves in the post that leave you wondering where they possibly could have been only a few months ago. It almost doesn’t make sense that a player who seems to be so offensively talented could have been so overlooked.
His offensive talent manifests itself in his shooting percentage and, in particular, his percentage on hook shots. Of players with 300 or more field goal attempts, only 15 are shooting better from the field than Seraphin (Trevor Booker and JaVale McGee being amongst them). As impressive as that is, it only gets better. Although Seraphin has only played meaningful minutes in around 40 games, he is 11th in the league in hook shots attempted. Of players with 50 or more attempted hooks, only Thaddeus Young (surprising, huh?) is shooting a better percentage.
The confidence with which Seraphin is shooting the ball right now is startling. During last night’s win over the Heat, he went with a move I had yet to see — a triple fake turnaround jump hook that completely froze the defender. It isn’t often someone will practice and robotically go through three fakes in the post. Seraphin went to this move out of comfort and without premeditation, showing strong instincts and loads of confidence.
Kevin Seraphin has been a pleasant revelation this year. His shooting numbers are quite impressive, especially since he’s taking a decent number of shots — 11.5 per game since JaVale McGee was traded. Wizard fans will hope for Seraphin to continue to improve his game this summer and come back more offensively polished in October. Even if he doesn’t improve much, he’ll at least have that sweet, sweet hook.