Coming into tonight’s final game against the Magic this season Washington was 0-3 against Orlando. However thanks to a career performance from Kevin Seraphin (and a Dwight Howard-less Magic team) the Wizards pulled out their second win in a row 93-85. Tonight’s win follows a victory against the hapless Charlotte Bobcats Monday night.
Without Nene and Trevor Booker both out with plantar fasciitis, the Wizards have leaned on big man Seraphin more in recent games and he has responded well. He led the team with a career high 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the win.
Also in the mix were Jordan Crawford (21) and John Wall (15). Jameer Nelson led the Magic with 19 points.
After the Magic took a 29-18 lead in the first quarter, the Wizards hung on tying the game at halftime and breaking away with 10 minutes left in the final quarter thanks to a bank shot from Seraphin.
The 2010 17th overall pick from French Guiana has always been a project for Washington. Gifted athletically, Seraphin was still raw and inexperienced on both sides of the court. As a result he played off the bench for JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche last year, and was thought to have sunk even lower on the depth chart with the acquisition of Ronny Turiaf this year.
So are we seeing development from Washington’s Francophone?
There are some signs that says yes. His year-over-year scoring numbers across the board have improved. At the rim he’s gone from a 55% success rate to 70%. According to Synergy Sports, he’s improved in the Pick and Roll from .88 Points per play to 1.22.
Even throughout the year he’s shown steady improvement. His average points have gone from 3.3 in December to 9.2 in February to 15.0 in April. Of course a lot of that is due to increased playing time and opportunity.
But it looks like Seraphin has taken advantage of that playing time and remains hungry to improve as a player. Tonight he looked confident and showed a lot of swagger with a slam dunk in the second quarter. While he won’t be the starter when Nene and Booker return to the court, he could develop to be a solid rotation/backup player for next year. That means something for a team that’s currently clearing the slate and looking for the young core to build upon.
So far Kevin has scored double digit points for eight straight games, we’ll see how he progresses as the Wizards take on the Knicks in New York Friday and Cleveland at home Saturday.