Note: This is the latest installment in a ten-part series on the top storylines facing the Wizards this season. Check CSNwashington.com daily for additional entries.
Kevin Seraphin probably thought he was going to be penciled in as the Wizards' starting power forward this year after his improved play late last season. That was until the team went out and traded for Emeka Okafor, likely moving Seraphin back to the bench.
Seraphin showed immense improvement, averaging 14 points and 7 rebounds in 21 starts to close out the season. Wins over quality teams were rare last year for the Wizards but in one marquee victory over the L.A. Lakers in March, Seraphin was unstoppable, scoring 14 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. It was his breakout game.
Two years ago, Seraphin was very limited offensively and looked lost in his rookie season. But over the last few months of last season he steadily improved and showed off a variety of low-post moves that had defenders on their heels.
The 6'-9" Seraphin averaged 15 points and 9 rebounds in April, including a career-high 24 points and 13 boards in a win over Orlando. He followed that up with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks in a win at Chicago. Seraphin closed out the season with 16 straight games in which he scored in double figures.
"We saw great progress in Kevin last year," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "He was able to go out the second half of the year and play with confidence. You can't play at this level without confidence, but Kevin made great strides."
Seraphin was probably the most improved player in the NBA in the second half of last season and he hopes to continue his improvement -- but as a backup to start the season. Okafor for now is the starting power forward but if Seraphin continues to improve like he did last year, the team will have to get him quality minutes.