Nene by the Numbers (and a little secret about Kevin Seraphin) | Wizards Blog Truth About

Nene by the Numbers (and a little secret about Kevin Seraphin)

Updated: March 15, 2012

Nenê tries to defend John Wall,
which won’t be happening anymore, aside from practice hoops

[photo: K. Weidie, Truth About]

So that’s that. Wizards General Manager Ernie Grunfeld finally found dance partners in the Clippers and Nuggets in a three-team deal just moments before today’s trading deadline. JaVale McGee has disappeared into thin air, now a member of the Nuggets along with Ronny Turiaf (we hardly knew ye). Nick Young’s career in D.C. has gone up in smoke as he packs his bags for home, sunny California, now a member of contending Clip Show. And Nenê Hilario, one of the league’s most underrated players, will make his way to the nation’s capital as the Wizards’ starting center, along with L.A.’s Brian Cook and a second-round pick …

Which makes me wonder: what will become of Kevin Seraphin?

Seraphin is a tough dude. He can rebound, block shots and bang—he said so much on draft night in 2010, when he was selected 17th overall by the Chicago Bulls. Seraphin, along with Kirk Hinrich and cash considerations, was bumped to D.C. in a draft-night trade in exchange for the rights to Vladimir Veremeenko, a Wizards second-round pick in 2006.

Two and half minutes into his post-selection press conference, Seraphin reminded the world that he could score, going so far as to compare himself to—you guessed it!—the bruising Nenê.

Both bigs began their basketball careers abroad: Seraphin made his professional debut with Cholet Basket of the French Pro A League in 2008-09, after spending three years with their youth academy; Nenê played two seasons with the Brazilian club Vasco da Gama before settling with the Denver Nuggets in 2002 after a draft-night trade with the New York Knicks, who selected him with the seventh overall pick.

Nenê became a full-time starter in his rookie season, in which he made the NBA All-Rookie team by averaging better than 10 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 51.9-percent from the field, a top 10 mark that season. In December of 2011, Nenê signed a five-year deal with the Nuggets worth up to $67 million, a contract that reportedly had Denver squirming with “buyer’s remorse.”

Seraphin, now 22-years-old, has had a bright start to his hoops life, especially considering he didn’t begin playing until 2004 at the age of 15. Seraphin was named to the All-Tournament team for the 2009 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, where he helped France win a silver medal. As an NBA sophomore this season, Seraphin is averaging 3.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and one block in just over 13 minutes per game (9.7, 9.5 and 2.8 per 36 minutes). Seraphin, of course, is under contract (with provisions for a team option and a qualifying offer) through the 2014-15 season for a grand total of $6,239,074.

Just how similar are these two international ballers? I turned to to find out. But first things first:

  • PPP – Points Per Play. A “Play” is always ended with a shot attempt, turnover or getting to the free throw line. PPP is the player’s total points, excluding technical free throws, divided by their total plays.
  • Rank – This is where a player or team’s PPP ranks amongst their league peers. A player must have at least 25 plays for a given category in order to qualify for a league ranking.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get to the numbers.

The second-year Seraphin has scored 114 points on 49.5-percent shooting in 421 minutes this season (0.9 PPP). Nenê, in his tenth NBA season, has scored 376 points on 50.9-percent shooting in 826 minutes with a nearly identical PPP of 0.91.

On the other side of the ball, Seraphin is holding opponents to 39.7-percent shooting (31-for-78) and 0.76 PPP. Nenê gives up 0.79 PPP on 42.1-percent shooting (71-for-171). In isolation situations specifically, Seraphin has held his opponents to 4-for-11 shooting (36.4%) and a 0.73 PPP. Nenê isn’t far behind, giving up just 12 baskets in 30 attempts (40%) for a 0.76 PPP.


Seraphin has shot 5-for-16 (31.3%) in 21 post-up plays this season (0.57 PPP).
Nenê has made 40 of his 101 post-up attempts (39.6%) in 150 post-up possessions (0.67 PPP), ranking him 98th in the NBA.

Seraphin is holding his mark to 13-for-33 shooting (39.4%) for a 0.66 PPP.
Nenê is also a good post defender, limiting opponents to 28-for-72 shooting (38.9%) for a 0.7 PPP.

P&R Roll Man

Seraphin is at his best rolling to the tin in the pick-and-roll. Seraphin has converted on 10 of his 14 attempts in the pick-and-roll (71.4%), scoring 1.39 PPP.
Nenê is shooting 26-for-41 (63.4%) in similar situations for a 1.21 PPP. That mark ranks Nenê 12th in scoring as the roll man.

Seraphin has only allowed his match-up to score twice in the pick-and-roll this season, 0.75 PPP, 2-for-7 (28.6%).
Nenê allows his man to score on 40.9% of pick-and-rolls (9-for-22), 0.78 PPP.


Spot-up shooting is another area where Seraphin bests Nenê. Seraphin has made five of his 11 attempts (45.5%) for a 0.91 PPP.
Nenê, meanwhile, has attempted 30 spot-up field goals, but made just 10 of those attempts (33.3%) for a 0.68 PPP.

Seraphin struggles in spot-up situations, allowing opponents to shoot 45.8% (11-24) for a 1.00 PPP.
Nenê gives up 46.2% shooting (18-39) for a 0.95 PPP.


Seraphin is shooting 10-for-21 (47.6%) on cuts to the hoop. His 1.00 PPP in such situations is good enough for 131st in the NBA.
Nenê is shooting 32-for-50 (64%) in these situations, putting up 1.21 PPP, which ranks him 63rd in the NBA.

Offensive Rebound

Seraphin: 11-for-25 (44%), 0.79 PPP.
Nenê: 5-for-11 (45.5%), 1.00 PPP.


Seraphin: 5-for-6 (83.3%), 1.57 PPP.
Nenê: 15-for-17 (88.2%), 1.41 PPP.

So there you have it—Kevin Seraphin and Nenê by the numbers. Given the small sample size, it would be unwise to read too much into these statistics; Seraphin isn’t quite ready to be an NBA starter. However, they do suggest steady development for the young big man out of French Guiana; in some cases, Seraphin even outproduces the established Nenê, his new frontcourt mate and expected starter at the five spot.

What similarities do you see between these players? What are your reactions to the trade news? And, finally, is the 29-year-old Nenê (and his fat contract) a good fit in D.C.? Let us know in the comments below.

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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.

  • Chris

    Couldn’t possibly be happier unless they’d also traded Andray Blatche. For a shrubbery.

    Frankly, I would have been happy if they’d just released Young and McGee, but the fact that they got back a legitimate starter and someone who can actually defend the pick-and-roll makes this a day of jubilation in my household.

  • Andrei

    Love the potential of the Big Frenchie. One detail though : Nene stats are against starters. Séraphin’s come against bench players… kind of tough to compare.

  • Man, the folks in the Nuggets’ front office must be regretting resigning Nene: they paid him All Star money and he’s putting up rather mediocre numbers in scoring and rebounding and he does not even block shots for a man his size. If they can only have a do over and somehow just unload that monstrous contract, but who would be stupid and gullible enough to take on such a dead weight contract of a player that has already hit his peak and is on the possibly the downslide of his career?

    Wait! Denver already traded him yesterday, but who did they find that was stupid enough to take . . . the Washington Wizards? Who did the Nuggets get . . . are you kidding me: Javale McGee?! Are you telling me that the Nuggets sent an over rated and over paid big man whose possibly on his way downhill to the Washington Wizards for a up and coming young center who averages a near double-double and is ranked second in the league in blocked shots per game? Okay I need to sit down . . .

  • The future certainly looks bright for the Nuggets now that they are at full strength and have all that added front court depth and rebounding thanks to . . . I’m sorry but I just have to repeat this: the Washington Wizards letting go of one of the top young up and coming centers in Javale McGee in return for the bloated and soon to be dead weight contract of a washed up Nene. The Nuggets will certainly be a team to look out for in Western Conference playoff race thanks to. . . oh God, I cannot get enough of saying this: the Denver Nuggets acquiring a potential All Star talent in Javalle McGee by sending the ridiculously bloated contract of Nene that started paying him up to 14$ million in the first year alone. Before, Denver would have been just another playoff of team that would have been sent packing in the first round; however the Nuggets look to be a possible dark horse to reach not only the Western Conference Final, but possibly the NBA Finals. And it is all because of. . . okay this will be last time I say this: the Denver Nuggets fleecing the Washington Wizards of the second best shot blocker in the league with a extremely high ceiling in Javalle McGee for the aging body and what was thought to be one of the most unattractive and untradeable contracts in Nene Hilarius.

  • firemetalrat

    I am glad McGee is gone because he has to be one of the worst defenders in the league. Anyone can score on him. Cousins treats him like a toy. I watched a point guard go down the middle of the lane for a layup and our last line of defense had no idea he was there until the player bumped in to the back of our center.He looks over shoulder to see who is there. Oh well.The Wizards starting center. You can go into him, past him, over or under him. Players can even shoot in the paint and the llama will stand there and watch. Thank you Denver and have fun watching McGee try to play. I love Nene for this team.
    Seraphin is the anti-McGee.He pushes back against Howard and keeps him away from the basket. he is a good defender and his offense is improving. I think Seraphin is going to be a good player in 2 more seasons and I look forward to watching him play with Nene.

  • nich

    yea it’s so hilarious watching people call McGee a good defender because he blocks shots and gets rebounds.

    ps: people were talking about teams swooping in and giving Nene $20 million a year last year.

    He was 9th in the league in Win Shares last year.

  • It just goes to show that Washington Wizards fans are poor judges of talent and character. To put it in more simplistic terms what the Wizards essentially did was trade away a young strong yet untamed thorougbred whom with a little patience could have been Triple crown Winner. In return the Wizards a mule. That’s extremely poor player management in my book.

  • Sylvie SOPHIE

    now, what you have say after the 3 games seraphin did ? so if the wizards had given him playing time to express hymself, he would have been better !!!