Kevin Seraphin's performance in the fourth quarter of the Washington Wizards' surprising road win over the Denver Nuggets on Friday night was critical in allowing the Wizards to get the win. Seraphin had 18 points in the game, including the putback layup that put Washington up four down the stretch, but his production was most promising early in the fourth quarter, when he abused JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried in the post.
This was a Seraphin we hadn't seen since April of last year, when he first started to emerge. The Seraphin we've seen this year has shied away from contact. Why did he revert back to being the promising prospect he was in April? He explained that going against his former teammate in McGee motivated him.
"For sure, he was motivated because that was his team before. I was motivated because I play against JaVale. We all was motivated," Seraphin said with a laugh. "That's really big. [McGee] was the guy before me, the starter. To have a chance to play against him, I was like, I will play my best."
Seraphin, of course, did not receive his opportunity until after McGee was traded. It had to feel good to show that, for one night at least, he was the better player.
Now, the key is maintaining that physicality against tougher frontcourts without needing extra motivation.