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Wizards 2014-15 Player Previews: Kevin Seraphin

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2013-2014 Key Stats

Games played, started: 53, 1

Total minutes, per game: 578, 10.9

Points per game: 4.7

Field goals: 111-220 (.505)

Rebounds per game: 2.4

TREB%: 12.8

Blocks per 100 possessions 2.3

PER: 12.5


Kevin Seraphin’s value as a center for the Wizards and the remaining vested fan interest in him has painfully regressed. You embrace whatever it is he brings, whenever he brings it, yet you never really opt for his presence. But since he’s here, you might as well continue to wait for his emergence. And when it never happens, you kind of lose interest in it ever happening at all. That’s about as best as I can detail any merit KSLife has held as a basketball player for the Wizards, hence him being the first player in line for our player preview segment, which is ordered by measure of worth starting with the least.


The Best and Worst of 2013-14

KS never logged more than 25 minutes in a game last season. In fact, his minutes total for the season were a career low (578) and his 10.9 minute per contest tied his lowest mark set in his rookie season. That said, it is merciful of me to mention that on four separate occasions last season, Kevin did manage to score at least 16 points in 23 minutes or less (I’m trying here). In one of those games, he turnt up for 18 second half points against the Rockets. If you recall, that performance came in the drier half of a game that was stalled by a leaking Verizon Center roof. While Seraphin’s on-court value has remained minimal since the beginning of his career, his post game has shown potential, his shooting range (for a big) has been respectable, and he’s proven he can be physical down low. Unfortunately, most of these traits are deemed worthless as his lack of court awareness often cancels most of them out.

But about that Seraphin post game, though. The #SnakeyHook certainly adds a precious element to it:

His egregious attempt at a Dirk one-legged fadeaway, however, doesn’t. (via Truth About It):

DYING YO.

Shot with a steady cam directly off his MacBook pro and labeled as a form of humor on the official #KSLife Vine account, this clip of Seraphin getting mollywhopped to the ground by Marcus Camby. #funny

For the purpose of fair balance, here’s Kevin creating separation in transition for a nice feed from Otto under the rim.


Kevin’s Summer of Qualifying Offers, Knee Rehab, and Tennis Balls

Much to the curiosity – and somewhat dismay – of many, the Wizards accepted Seraphin’s qualifying offer of $3.8 million to play one more season in DC. With the Wizards having bolstered their front court with the additions of Kris Humprhies and DeJuan Blair, combined with the uncertainty of Seraphin’s own development, the decision to bring him back was a confusing one. Nevertheless, Seraphin’s Segway will stroll through the Verizon Center corridors for one more season at least, giving him one more opportunity to convince the world his profession should be on the basketball court.

A wise decision to reach that goal was the Wizards refraining from letting Seraphin participate in the FIBA tournament with Team France. Seraphin has yet to fully recover from his arthroscopic knee surgery, an issue that kept him out of play for a significant portion of last season due to swelling. A minor procedure was done to clean out Seraphin’s right knee and based on a few Vine clips he’s posted this summer, he seems to have maintained his bounce.

Beware, front court supremacy is imminent thanks to the #KSLife tennis ball regimen.


The Rap Sheet

Offense: I’ve often shamelessly stated my faith in Kevin Seraphin becoming a consistent force to reckon with on the offensive end of the floor. Verily he hasn’t done me much justice yet somehow has managed to remain part of the Wizards plans this season, though likely at a very lesser role. But by the reality of the Wizards’ inability to remain consistently healthy, it’s safe to say at some point this season Kevin will be granted his opportunity to showcase any improvements he’s made this summer. Here’s what I’m looking for:

– Better ball control in double team situations. Kevin has to solidify his passing skills especially when hounded by multiple defenders. This is where he gets really erratic and is most turnover prone.

Dominate the post. This is the area of Seraphin’s game I fantasize about him excelling in. Yet this is also an area where Seraphin has shown a terrible lack of control. If he isn’t settling for a sky hook or an absurd turnaround jumper, he’s mistiming his steps backing down in the post, or he just gets over-aggressive and erratic under the rim. Either way, Seraphin has the physical nature to be most effective down low against defenders. We’ve seen his stout upper body frame push into defenders with ease, he just lacks the cognition needed to finish at a consistently high level.

– Court awareness and spacing. Seraphin tends to have a brainfart (or many) while moving around on the court, a habit that drives Wizards fans to the brink of psychosis more than anything else. His loss of focus seemingly removes him from the game at some points and it’s clearly visible by the way it clogs the spacing on the floor. I’ve seen him lose himself on the court so bad he forgot where he was, hence pulling out his iPhone to take a selfie. Developing a respectable level of court intellect is Seraphin’s personal battle, and possibly his most important one of the offseason.

– Get up shots. A riveting component of Seraphin’s offense is his midrange but sadly as evidenced in the shot charts below, the colossal decrease in minutes from 2012-13 to 2013-14 didn’t allow Seraphin many opportunities to take many shots.

During the 2012-13 season, KS took 105 midrange shots, converting about 43% of them. He shot particularly well from the left wing and the right side of the key. Although Seraphin has some movement issues when trying to establish his position in those areas via pick and roll or out of the post, he’s proven his touch and form are decent enough to hit the shot.

ks 2013

In the 2013-14 season, Snakey took 79 less midrange shots:

ks 2014

Defense: Seraphin’s defensive struggles may be as dispiriting as his offensive ones. Like his awareness issues on offense, Seraphin tends to have mental lapses on the other end as well. He’s often times slow to rotate and has a rare tendency to provide ample help defense. However, he also has a rare tendency to protect the rim and proved to do so last season by averaging 2.3 blocks per 100 possessions. For Seraphin to really turn a corner defensively, here’s a few things he needs to focus on.

– Know your strength. This all falls back to the post game. Seraphin is a bulky dude. He’s got the physicality to square up against any NBA big and he certainly has the heart to get up for the challenge. With his mind right and a little bit of success, Kevin’s confidence will soar, hopefully along with his game.

– Increase awareness (again). Build confidence. Raising Awareness. It’s been a hot social trend this summer and hopefully the same applied for Seraphin as part of his latest offseason basketball refinement. As mentioned throughout this preview, Seraphin attains a fair amount of real basketball talent, but it’s the real application of that talent that hasn’t been seen as much. No more lollygagging without the ball in and around the defense (I’ve now used the term ‘mollywhop’ and ‘lollygag’ in the same column hence winning today’s blogosphere). No more tentative movement. No more crumbling under ball pressure. I’m not sure if there’s enough #WittmanFace to finally shake things up with Seraphin, but maybe there won’t need to be if he stays lodged on the bench again.

The Roundup: With the surplus of big men on the depth chart, the expected limited playing time for Seraphin this season may or may not impact his development which will most likely impact his value in the summer following the season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Seraphin accumulated a career low in minutes last season partly because of the knee soreness, but also because of the emergence of Nene and Marcin Gortat as a front court double-headed monster. This season will seemingly be much of the same with an even deeper lineup down low. As has been the case for much of Seraphin’s career, his opportunities to prove himself will come in spurts, some small, some big. It’s up to him to make the most of every one of them.

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