Kevin Seraphin in the Old/New Year — A Wizards Preview Series | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Kevin Seraphin in the Old/New Year — A Wizards Preview Series

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Updated: September 23, 2015

[We have turned exactly one turn of the crank and out popped some sort of review, and a little bit of a preview, of a Wizard (or ex-Wizard).

And so begins TAI’s series on the Wizards going forward with a look-back on those who graced the team in the past season. We start with one of the departed: Kevin Seraphin, by Kyle Weidie. Enjoy.]

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Where will Kevin Seraphin live in New York? In signing a one-year, $2.8 million contract with the Knickerbockers, temporary housing is likely. Will he be a Manhattanite with a view, or will he play around a Brooklyn brownstone on a neighborhoody street more akin to his old stomping ground in the quaint village—as New Yorkers would say—of the District of Columbia? More importantly, what will come of Seraphin’s Segway jaunts in the avenues?

For that matter, what will come of his pet skeleton, the memory of a lost pet snake (Snakey), and all of his social media accounts? After five seasons and 326 games with the Washington Wizards, the always happy-go-lucky and sometimes (1) oblivious “Frenchman” from South America has departed to the Big Apple. He follows the footsteps of the franchise’s flock of failed young big men out of Washington: JaVale McGee, Jan Vesely, Oleksiy Pecherov, and beyond. Peter John Ramos … anyone?

Seraphin, aka Hashtag: #KSLife, wasn’t the most promising of the bunch, but he ended up being the best. Or, more fairly stated, better than the rest (so far). Drafted in John Wall’s 2010 class under the hokey sincerity of Flip Saunders, he always took coaching well, even if often subjected to the achingly obvious icy daggers base jumping from the eyes of Randy “Wittmanface” Wittman.

Seraphin learned over his time with the Wizards. We (I) insist our observations tell us this is true. Defensive awareness improved, incrementally, with plenty of pains. Understandable since he started playing basketball around age 14. Even so, in the DoD (Department of Defense), he stayed unreliable. Seraphin was, however, a decent rim protector and should get plenty of chances to fill that role for the Knicks. Robin Lopez (penciled as the starer), Kyle O’Quinn, and young Kristaps Porzingis will compete with him for playing time.

According to player tracking from NBA.com, Seraphin was one of 22 bigs who held opponents (2) to 48 percent shooting or worse on shots attempted at the rim. Seraphin ranked 19th out of 22 at 47.6 percent, slightly better than Pau Gasol, Andre Drummond, and Robin Lopez, slightly worse than Timofey Mozgov, DeMarcus Cousins, and Draymond Green. (3) Marcin Gortat’s opponents shot 48.6 percent against his defense at the basket, and Nene’s shot 51.7 percent.

Still, defensive issues are primarily what kept Seraphin from getting paid this summer (and the Wizards from fitting him into their long-term plans). Rim protection be damned, the Wizards allowed 100 points per 100 possessions (DefRtg) as a team in 2014-15, but a 104 DefRtg when Seraphin played and a 98.3 DefRtg when he sat the bench, according to NBA.com/stats. The only Wizards players who fared worse in on-court DefRtg with 150 or more minutes of action were DeJuan Blair (105.8), Andre Miller (107.3), and Martell Webster (109.4).

Seraphin also never really figured out how to handle a double team on offense. Even coaches whose defensive philosophy included ‘NEVER DOUBLE THE POST’ would caravan doubles Seraphin’s way whenever he had the ball. That, in tandem with deficiencies in team defense, is what ultimately pushed Seraphin to the free agent market and off the Wizards’ roster. His turnovers per 100 possessions never improved over his time in Washington, and he set a career high in this category last season (respectively: 3.4, 2.9, 3.9, 3.7, and finally, 4.1 turnovers per 100 possessions in 2014-15).

Seraphin’s camp will rightly believe that New York offers more playing time (in a Phil Jackson rebuild) and thus a better chance to score a payday with a rising cap next summer. Whether he actually earns more money is debatable, but at least there will theoretically be a larger sample size to sate the curiosity of potential suitors.

It’s certainly not hard to see the allure of the life, the Kevin Seraphin Life, that is: a naturally soft touch with either hand, perhaps the best hook shot in the league (really, look it up … or keep reading for a ‘curious stat’), a big body that can create space (when he wants), and a fairly coachable attitude. Whether Kevin is actually hearing Jimi Hendrix (versus listening, to relate to 1992’s “White Men Can’t Jump”), is another matter altogether.

We bid a fond adieu to Kevin Seraphin. Fond in celebration of his departure, as the blood pressure of Wizards fans, Wittman Faces, and Randy Wittman’s alike will no longer rise when he is forced into action. But also fond in a sense that Seraphin was not exactly in the category of knuckleheads like Blatche and McGee, or headcases like Vesely. Like Pecherov but with more post moves, Seraphin got buckets. But alas, he is gone, certainly not forgotten, and hopefully not merely another one who got away.

Best Moment in 2014-15.

Seraphin’s season-high of 17 points came in a January 13 home win over San Antonio, the Wizards’ first victory over the Spurs since 2005. Gambling with the hot hand, Randy Wittman left Seraphin and Nene in the game together to close the fourth quarter, and it worked! Seraphin dominated a game-deciding run that took the Wizards from down one with just under seven minutes left to winning by eight.

Here’s what I wrote in the game’s Key Legislature:

Later on the locker room, Seraphin happily jumped up to be the first victim of media scrutiny. Eleven of Seraphin’s 17 points and five of his eight rebounds off the bench came in the fourth quarter.

“You ain’t going to run out on the media today, huh?” blurted out Paul Pierce for the audience as he exited the shower.

“I just play, I just play basketball,” Seraphin had just finished saying to the scrum, as he continued to field questions.

“Hell naw!” added someone else from the peanut gallery.

“Guess one of them days, huh?” chimed in Andre Miller.

“Going to stay and talk a long time tonight, huh?” Pierce continued. “French AND Spanish.”

The locker room was rolling, and Seraphin couldn’t help but flash a smile. How could he even hold back? But Kevin Seraphin’s life was merely the shiny belt on Washington’s final use of the hands to win the title of the night.

Runner-Up.

Reaching 79 regular season games for the second time in his career (plus six 2015 playoff games) (4), Seraphin in his shot-happy ways off the bench scored more than a dozen points on nine different occasions in 2014-15. One of those came in Playoff Game 6 versus the Hawks (his last game as a Wizard), as he filled in admirably for a sick Marcin Gorat with 13 points, eight rebounds, and only one turnover in 28 minutes. But it was for naught, Washington lost. Je ne sais pas.

Worst Moment in 2014-15.

In limited minutes over the course of last season Seraphin was quite terrible, particularly on offense. Not sure which came first, however, the chicken in that Seraphin knew he’d receive little time in a particular game and thus jacked shots to shine, or the egg in that his poor play led him to be yanked and benched. (Or vice-versa.) Probably a combination of everything in the world. It was a common theme of his tenure in D.C.

Seraphin saw zero-to-9 minutes in 13 of his 79 appearances in 2014-15 and shot 40.7 percent with an OffRtg of 64. He saw 10-to-19 minutes in a majority of his appearances, 53, and fared much better with 51.3 percent from the field and an OffRtg of 96. He further improved during the 12 contests in which he saw 20-to-29 minutes of action, shooting 54.6 percent with an OffRtg of 107.

One of the aforementioned low moments came during a late-March, 91-99 loss to the Houston Rockets in D.C. He checked in at the start of the second quarter and missed three shots—all settled-for jumpers outside of 12 feet—in the period’s first 150 seconds. Meanwhile, Seraphin allowed Dwight Howard to get into a rhythm and the Rockets built a 59-46 halftime lead that the Wizards could not claw back from.

An even worse moment: Seraphin lent his name to a club party promotion with a C-list porn star named Kakey in late-April.

Curious Stat.

Not as much curious as it is amazing, Seraphin was the most accurate hook-shot maker in the NBA last season (minimum 25 attempts, via Basketball-Reference.com). He shot 70.3 percent (90-for-128) on such shots—from any range. Teammate Marcin Gortat was third in percentage at 67.1 percent (51-76), and Nene ranked tied for 18th in the league at 58.1 percent (18-31).

Thirteen total NBA players attempted 125 or more hook shots. Roy Hibbert, second-best to Seraphin in making them, shot 8.9 percent worse than Seraphin (129-210, 61.4%). Other offensive talents didn’t come close—Pau Gasol (70-136, 51.5%), Greg Monroe (98-200, 49.0%), and Al Jefferson (62-127, 48.8%).

Seraphin was similarly a hook shot beast in the previous 2013-14 season, leading the 78 NBA players who attempted 25 or more by making 74.5 percent (38-51).

If Kevin Seraphin were a type of food or an entire meal of food, he would be [BLANK]…

‘Snake Surprise,’ as featured in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

Wait, no. Thirty seconds of brain-racking before the answer was obvious: Crème brûlée.

Occasionally on fire, sometimes torched, and generally resulting in burnt cream/custard. OR…, while not food-related, this classic assist from the WizzNutzz sums up poor ol’ Kevin Seraphin’s tenure in Washington. Bless his dear heart.

SeraPics, via his Internet.

['My boy @paulpierce34 just got me this shirt lol cause he thinks I'm a beast on the court. #kslife #beast ' -- via Twitter: @kevin_seraphin]

[‘My boy @paulpierce34 just got me this shirt lol cause he thinks I’m a beast on the court. #kslife #beast ‘ — via Twitter: @kevin_seraphin]

[via instagram.com/24janvesely]

[via instagram.com/24janvesely]

kevinseraphinlife-pelligrino

Kevin Seraphin has found a Halloween friend - via Kevin Seraphin's InstaGram

[via instagram/kevin_seraphin]

[via instagram/kevin_seraphin]

kevin-seraphin-jamaica-hat

kevin-seraphin-works-the-potatoes

Check this out! #kevinseraphinlife

Check this out! #kevinseraphinlife

120307-kevin-seraphin-instagram

  1. Often.
  2. Big men who faced at least four shots at the rim per game, played at least 50 games, and averaged at least 10 minutes per game.
  3. The NBA’s Top 5 would include Rudy Gobert (40.4%), Serge Ibaka (40.8%), Andrew Bogut (41.4%), Roy Hibbert (42.6%), and Derrick Favors (43.8%).
  4. Seraphin didn’t top 58 games in any of his other three seasons.
Kyle Weidie on EmailKyle Weidie on GoogleKyle Weidie on InstagramKyle Weidie on LinkedinKyle Weidie on TwitterKyle Weidie on Youtube
Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.