Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts could live with John Wall's 22 points, five assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots. It was an unheralded player from the Wizards' bench that gave him fits in Monday's 100-90 loss.
"Wall made some jump shots. For the most part, we did a nice job of forcing mid-range shots. They made a decent percentage of them, but I thought Nic (Batum) did a solid job on him," Stotts said. "The X-factor was Kevin Seraphin. Seraphin had a terrific game. He did a little bit of everything. He made jump shots, he made post-ups, he drew fouls and that kind of put us in a bind for a while.”
Seraphin, who has gotten the hook quickly for looking hesitant which has led to turnovers and being late on defensive rotations, had a season-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting and five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. He made 5 of 6 foul shots.
“Kevin came in and gave us a big lift," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "Not only offense, that might be his best alertness from a defensive standpoint that he’s had since he’s been here. That’s moving along in the right direction.”
After lamenting all season about waiting for someone off the bench other than Martell Webster and Trevor Booker to show him something, Wittman sounds like he's starting to believe in the 6-10 backup center. Booker missed the game because of personal reasons, according to the Wizards.
“When I knew he was out. I was just like, this is my opportunity. I was ready ... like him," Seraphin said of Booker. "And I did my job. I know it’s a tough time for him right now."
When Seraphin was having his struggles to start the season, Nene suggested he needed to study harder. He believes Seraphin may have figured out the nuances of being a professional.
"I told him, 'Man you need to think. You need to visualize what he's going to do on the court,'" said Nene. "Watch video. Watch what he did good, what he did bad. Then you're going to start to develop your skills and improve your game. That's what I told him. He's playing good. He made simple movement. He put himself in position."