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$18 million for your fourth offensive option

Mar 15, 2010, 5:30 PM EST

nba_lewis[1].jpgOffense option number one for the Orlando Magic — throw it to the best center on the planet. Option two, Vince Carter. Option three: Jameer Nelson (options two and three can switch, depending on matchups and time of the game).

Option number four: Rashard Lewis. The guy making a team high $18.7 million this year (and more than $20 million for the following three). That is a lot of green for a guy getting 10 shots a game, ones other players create for him. The reason Lewis has fallen down the pecking order is his once feared shot (remember him with Seattle, it was pure) has gone on walkabout. He is shooting 32% from three in the last 10 Magic games, just 40% overall.

If your role in the offense is to pull an opposing big out to the three-point line to guard you, then making that shot is imperative. FanHouse has the money quote.

“Rashard is just not playing well right now. It’s not just the shooting. He’s not rebounding the ball. He’s just not playing with much energy,” said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. “He’s turning the ball over. He’s not making the shots he’s taking. I have confidence he’ll bounce back, but right now he’s not playing well.”

Well, that’s pretty damning.

And Rashard Lewis is… fine with that.

“I’m comfortable in the offense now. Our first option is Dwight (Howard). Vince and Jameer have been playing great. As we get closer to the playoffs, I’ll have to get myself more involved. If plays aren’t called (for me), I better find ways to contribute more. It would have helped tonight (in the loss to the Bobcats)…

“There is no frustration when you’re winning,” he said. “If you win, you don’t worry. I’m not getting as many shots, but it doesn’t matter now. If you lose, that’s when there is going to be frustration, that’s when you need to look at yourself in the mirror.”

Lewis is the link teams will try to exploit in the playoffs now. He’ll be given his shot until he makes the opponent pay. They will go at him on defense. On one of the best rosters in the NBA, he is now the target.

We’ll see how fine with that he becomes. We’ll see how frustrating that gets — especially after a couple of losses.

  1. bitmatt - Mar 15, 2010 at 11:41 PM

    “He’s just not playing with much energy.”
    Stan- don’t you pay attention? He’s not allowed to accidently swallow PED’s anymore, so get off your high horse.

  2. JaMEer - Mar 16, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    Dwight and Vince should always be the first options. Play through Dwight but most likely Vince will lead in scoring he’s the most polished offensive player they got.
    Rashard is dam good, dam good in the post and obvoiusly an incredible shooter (usually)
    He needs to not only play with more energy and make his shots, he needs to be more aggressive. He only shoots 3s, should post up more or take a controlled drive. Shoot 3s when spotted up, not contested.
    I wouldn’t rip on Shard to much he’s the Magics 3rd best player.
    But Jameer NEEDS to settle the F down and stop trying to be some hero/all star he’s NOT. He takes so many shots a game now, and he’s not anything special. He takes stupid ass shots and never defers to others. He’s a point guard for christs sake and he looks for his own points all game long. Jameer -4 shots, Rashard +4 shots and were good.
    Jameer is too selfish.

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