He went from an obscure bench player to a cult hero. Of course we’re talking about Kevin Seraphin.
How did Seraphin go from being an afterthought to a polished low-post scorer? And where does the French Guiana native go from here?
Join William Stokes and Ben Mehic below for the answers. . .
One of the defining moments of the Wizards’ season this year happened on March 7, when the Washington Wizards came back to overcome a 20 point second half deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. It was not only defining because of the fantastic comeback over one of the NBA’s most storied teams, but because it was the night that signaled the beginning of Kevin Seraphin’s development. Seraphin had a career high in both points and rebounds that night and was a vital part of the bench effort that led the Wizards back into the game to beat the Lakers. Soon after, Seraphin was thrust into the starting lineup with JaVale McGee traded, Nene in trade limbo, and Andray Blatche shut down for conditioning purposes. It was a sink or swim moment for Seraphin, and he swam.
The rest of the season was stellar for Seraphin too. He played 57 games this season, and the last 29, which were virtually all after that Lakers game, were much better than the first 28. There are a number of mind-boggling statistics illustrating this improvement. His eFG% from every area of the court increased by at least 10 points. He reached double digits only twice during the first 28 games, while he reached double digits 23 times in the last 29 games. And, hat tip to Bullets Forever, the Wizards grabbed 50.5% of all available rebounds when Seraphin was on the court.
Seraphin practiced as hard as anyone on the Wizards to nail his hook shot and improve other aspects of his game, but it wasn’t until the Wizards run during and after the Lakers game that Seraphin really showed improvement. Only when given the chance was Seraphin able to seize the moment and show us the quality player we all hoped he could be. This illustrates how much of a role confidence plays in a young players’ development. Without the trade for Nene at the trade deadline, Wizards fans everywhere might be pining for a backup center.
First half: C
Second half: A
“Captain Hook” aka Kevin Seraphin has by far made the biggest improvements amongst Wizards last season.
After not getting much playing time during his rookie season, Seraphin took it upon himself to improve and crack the rotation during his sophomore year. We’ve all seen his capabilities in the post during his rookie campaign, but his inability to stay out of foul trouble overshadowed his success. After Trevor Booker went down due to injury, and JaVale McGee was dealt to Denver, Seraphin’s playing time steadily increased. He attributes most of his recent success to his increase in confidence. One of Seraphin’s best games of the season came against fellow Frenchman, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls. Seraphin scored a team high 21 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots.
Noah spoke highly of Seraphin and called him a “tough competitor, and very skilled for his size.” It doesn’t hurt to be endorsed by one of the leagues most prominent centers.
After McGee was traded to Denver, Seraphin absolutely blossomed. I’m glad to see Nene in Washington, as Seraphin’s skill set mirrors Nene’s. He plays every game like it’s his last, and lets his opponents know it. He’s not only known as the guy who just sets hard screens any longer. Seraphin is quickly becoming a key piece in Washington. I certainly won’t be surprised if he ends up starting at the power forward position next season along side Nene.
Grade: I’m reluctant to give anyone an A, so I’ll respectively give Kevin ‘The Dream’ Seraphin a B+. Let’s hope his small sample size of success can continue on to next season.