Knee injury compounds Seraphin's struggles

Knee injury compounds Seraphin's struggles
December 8, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman talks with forward/center Kevin Seraphin (13) during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at TD Banknorth Garden.

(Greg M. Cooper)

The loss of Nene for another game will be made much worse by Kevin Seraphin not being able to play, either, as the Wizards are wearing thin along the frontline.

Seraphin sat out Friday's game with a swollen right knee. The Wizards lost Nene in the third quarter of that overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks because of soreness in his right foot and Achilles. 

Neither sounded confident they'll play in Monday's game vs. the Denver Nuggets at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). 

"I got a little soreness in my knee right now. It's nothing that's really a big thing. Just want it to come down because there was a little swelling," Seraphin said. "As a bench we have to step up. We must show now what we can do, that we can play and help this team win."

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So far, that hasn't happened for the Wizards, and Seraphin's struggles are common among the reserves. He spent the summer in D.C. doing individual workouts with the coaching staff, but it hasn't translated into success on the court. He's averaging just 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds and 44% shooting in eight minutes per game. In the last two games that Seraphin has played, he only has totaled seven minutes as Jan Vesely has been coach Randy Wittman's first low-post option off the bench.

Seraphin averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 46.1% shooting in 21.8 minutes per game last season and appeared on the verge of breaking out. But he has been turnover-prone and isn't rebounding well as he should be as the backup center.

"It's a long season. Everybody wants to be able to play 82 games," he said. "I don't try to ask myself too much questions, 'Why? Why? Why?' When you work hard, give it everything you've got and it doesn't go the way you want to, for sure you're frustrated."

Seraphin doesn't have to be spectacular, just steady while the starters Nene and Marcin Gortat get a breather. He's undersized at 6-9, but has to use that to his advantage and use his quickness to get to the ball and be decisive.

Look at Vesely. He stays on the court because he doesn't try to do too much and creates second-chance points for teammates with his hustle on the glass.