Before this month, Kevin Seraphin had never recorded a double-double or scored more than 15 points in an NBA game. Seraphin also rarely had the chance to show what he was capable of, since he started the season backing up JaVale McGee and often had to settle for crumbs.
He offered a few hints immediately after the Wizards traded McGee to Denver for Nene, and has continued to serve as a reliable low post option. With Nene and Trevor Booker both out with injury, Seraphin has averaged 16.3 points on 54.7 percent shooting with 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 blocks in seven April starts.
After Seraphin had a career-high 24 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead the Wizards to a 93-85 win over the Dwight Howard-less Orlando Magic, Ted Leonsis offered praise on his personal blog, Ted’s Take.
Leonsis wrote: “A lot of general managers around the league are now asking; ‘How did we not draft Kevin Seraphin and how did he fall so far in the draft?’ Kudos to our scouts. And congratulations to Kevin Seraphin for taking advantage of his minutes and playing with hustle and showing off his gifts.”
Seraphin has scored in double-figures in each of his past eight games and has recorded two double-doubles over that span. In the win over Orlando, he became the second Wizard in the past 15 seasons to have at least 23 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks in one game. The other player? McGee, who reached those numbers twice last season.
McGee is averaging 9.5 points and 6.3 rebounds and coming off the bench for a much deeper Nuggets team battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Nene has averaged 14.8 points and 9.3 rebounds in six games with the Wizards and Seraphin is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds and has started 12 games since the trade.
“We knew he could play and that it was just going to take some time for him to mature,” John Wall said. “He has a nice shot. He gets great post position and he is doing a great job stepping in for Nene, playing well and making plays.”
With the undersized Glen “Big Baby” Davis guarding him, Seraphin was able to operate with relative ease inside. He also had an impressive block in the fourth quarter, sending the ball out of bounds and Davis to the ground.
“So you’ve got a night where you don’t have to play against the best center in the league,” Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I would think it helped him a lot.”
A healthy Howard certainly would’ve made a difference, but Seraphin had 12 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes against Howard when the teams met in early February. Seraphin also played a role in helping limit Howard to just six field goals later in the month. He has admitted that playing against Howard brings out the best in him.
But Seraphin is now able to contribute regardless of the competition. “He is playing with confidence and he’s growing every night,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “I told him I’m going to stay on him. I don’t want him to get satisfied with where he is at. I think he has a lot of room to still improve and I want him to stay hungry.”