Kevin Seraphin’s development has been one of the few positives in an otherwise bleak season. Mike Prada detailed the numbers behind his positives and negatives this year. With the help of MySynergySports.com, let’s take a look at some of the ways Seraphin operates on offense and what he can do to improve.
This season, Seraphin has been hyper-efficient as a roll man in the pick-and-roll. He ranks 12th in the NBA, with 1.22 points per possession in these situations. John Wall and Jordan Crawford actually deserve a heap of credit for Seraphin’s great numbers as a roll man. While Seraphin has shown great touch on shots around the rim, Wall and Crawford have done a good job finding spots to get him the ball where he can simply catch and finish.
On the few times Seraphin received the ball a little farther away from the hoop and was forced to dribble before shooting, he’s averaging 0.88 points per possession. While the results have been spotty, he has shown some flashes of being able to take a dribble and finish. The video below shows some of his bright spots. He’s displayed his good hands and footwork elsewhere, so this is one thing that he can improve for next year. (While you’re watching, enjoy the Bobcats announcer's pronunciation of Seraphin’s name in the first clip.)
As noted earlier in the week, Seraphin’s post-up game has improved over the course of the year. Among the 36 players in the league that have shot at least as many hook shots as Seraphin (32 hook shots), Seraphin has the second best field goal percentage on those shots.
Seraphin's left hand has also developed over the course of the season. Since the Detroit game last week, it would be hard to guess whether he is left- or right-handed. In the post, Seraphin has spun left an equal number of times as he has spun right. He has scored or been fouled on 55 percent of his left handed hook shots and 54 percent of his right handed hook shots.
The great part about his hook shot is how comfortable he looks setting up the defense and shooting. It feels like Dwight Howard has been working on his post game for a decade, but his hook shot still looks stiff and sometimes ends up as a line drive. Seraphin, on the other hand, looks like a natural at only 22 years old. Over the past week, Seraphin has done a great job of backing down his defender, feeling which way the defender is leaning and spinning the opposite direction for his hook. The video below shows some recent examples.
While his hook shot has been a positive development, Seraphin needs to use his body a little more when getting post position. The majority of his post-ups this past week have started with both of his feet outside of the paint. Instead of settling for a post-up out there, he could be using his body to seal the defense in the paint before he gets the ball. Keep an eye on how Seraphin comes off screens in the video below. When he gets free from his defender, he continues all the way outside of the paint to receive the ball. He could simply stop in the restricted area and seal his man on his back before receiving the pass.
Kevin Love provides a good example of what Seraphin could be doing. Watch how Love stops as soon as he crosses to the other side of the basket.
Jason Smith Gustavo Ayon trailed Love around the screen and can’t do anything to stop him from receiving the ball at the rim.
Seraphin has made great strides this year, but he still has plenty of things to work on. Using his body more effectively and expanding his post-up game beyond the hook shot will go a long way in creating a legitimate frontcourt scorer.
Looking forward to Friday, going up against Tyson Chandler will be a big change when compared to facing the Bobcats and Howard-less Magic. The Knicks give up the fewest points per possession in the league for roll men and the second fewest points per possession in the post. Combine that with Seraphin's current inability to draw fouls, and it looks like Chandler will be seeing plenty of minutes. That means the Knicks defense against Seraphin should be quite good.
Saturday could be a different story because the Cavaliers have been bad at defending post-ups and among the worst in the league against the pick-and-roll.
Keep these teams’ defenses in mind if we see Seraphin have a supposed let-down versus New York and then somehow bounces back against Cleveland.