Come on coach, let me play    (credit Nick Wass/AP Photo)

Come on coach, let me play (credit Nick Wass/AP Photo)

 

So far for the Washington Wizards, Kevin Seraphin’s season has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. One night he will look great scoring and rebounding, the next he will give little contribution and spend a good deal of the game on the bench.

With the Wizards sitting at 3-16 and not going anywhere fast, it is time to let the young big man play. I know foul trouble and other factors have lead to his fluctuation in minutes, but if Seraphin is indeed going to be a big part of this team’s future, don’t this lottery bound season by jerking around his minutes. Let him play 30 minutes a game. Let him learn from his mistakes and grown as a player on the court. The worst thing that can come from giving Kevin significant — consistent — minutes is that we can better evaluate his game.

Free Kevin Seraphin.

After sitting out the first game with an injury, Seraphin has played in 18 games on this season. His playing time has fluctuated anywhere from 13 minutes in a game to a little over 36 minutes. He has yet to foul out of a game and has only picked up 5 fouls on 3 occasions, so the fouling argument shouldn’t be too strong here. There are 10 games where he has played over 25 minutes, and 8 games where he has played under that number.

When playing 25+ minutes a night, Kevin Seraphin is a completely different player than when he plays under that 25 minute mark. Let’s take a quick look at the tale of two Seraphins:

25+ Minutes

In the 10 games where Seraphin has played 25+ minutes, his production has been pretty good at least in the scoring and rebounding departments. During those 10 games, his averages are 15.9 points and 7.8 rebounds. He is shooting 51.7% from the floor (76/147), up from his season average of 47.6%. Seraphin has put together 4 double doubles in those games as well, while getting none while playing under 25 minutes. He has also scored in double figures in all 10 of those games.

Less Than 25 Minutes

In the 8 games Seraphin has played less than 25 minutes, his production in points, percentages, and rebounds drops off (as one would expect). He is only shooting 44.4% (28/63) in those games. His averages drop to 7.1 points and 3.4 rebounds as well. Only one game out of those 8 has he reached double digit scoring, and none where he had double digit rebounds. Again, zero double doubles during those games.

Again, I understand that there are more factors that come along with playing time than just saying hey, you are playing 35 minutes tonight. But the fact of the matter is this: the Wizards are not going anywhere. There is no advantage in having Kevin Seraphin sitting on the bench or only playing 16 minutes a game. His game has already improved dramatically from this time last season. The soft touch and skills he has shown on the interior is definitely an encouraging sign for the Wizards faithful. We just need Randy Wittman to go ahead and start Seraphin, and let him play through the mistakes. Let him build confidence while on the court, and continue to evolve and grow his game.

No offense to Emeka Okafor, but he isn’t the future of this team. Nobody particularly wants to see him playing 35 minutes a night and taking 12 shots in a loss. He isn’t (or I should say shouldn’t be) part of the “plan”. Kevin Seraphin is.

Free Seraphin.

 

 

 

 

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