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.