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Rashard Lewis suddenly out of the Heat’s rotation

Nov 25, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis began the season playing fairly well in Miami, perhaps even better than most expected. He was getting close to 20 minutes per game off the bench in the Heat’s first six games of the season, and filling in productively offensively in his time on the court.

But since Miami has been at full strength over the last few games, with Dwyane Wade and Mike Miller both returning from injury, Lewis has seen his minutes decline. And in the Heat’s previous two games, Lewis was unable to get off the bench at all — against Milwaukee he was said to be out due to illness, but against the Cavaliers, he ended up with the dreaded DNP-CD.

It’s unclear at this point whether this is just early-season lineup tinkering from Erik Spoelstra, or if the demotion might have longer-lasting effects. Either way, Lewis says he knew what he was signing up for when he came to Miami last summer.

From Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Lewis, who said he was healthy Saturday, said he signed on in the offseason as a free agent aware of such possibilities.

“There’s a lot of talent on the bench, a lot of guys that can play any given night,” Lewis said. “So you’ve just always got to be ready when your name is called. And when your name’s not called, you’ve still got to be ready.”

Lewis said Spoelstra approached him about the shift.

“He said he’s going to change the lineup, the second unit for a little bit, trying to see what else he can do, work with some things, just be patient with him, just see what happens,” Lewis said.

It makes sense for Spoelstra to mix up his combinations to see exactly what he has during the course of the regular season, especially for a team that will need all of its depth on the way to a planned run back to the Finals.

Lewis has shown that he can contribute in Miami. He’ll just need to be patient before getting his next opportunity, which could come sooner rather than later if Shane Battier‘s knee sprain turns out to be anything lingering.

  1. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    10th men usually don’ t get a ton of PT

  2. raidmagic - Nov 25, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    He was pretty much done 2 years ago in Orlando

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Nov 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      I’m guessing you haven’t watched the Heat this season because Rashard Lewis has been shooting very well. He looks to be in great shape and he’s burying 3’s.

  3. totallyuselessme - Nov 25, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    It’s a good problem to have when you have too many players you wanna use and not enough minutes to give them.

    Rashard’s playing well when he gets minutes, and that’s the important thing.

  4. miamatt - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I wouldn’t read much into it at this point; Spo is going to tinker until he feels comfortable with what he has. The important thing for Lewis is that he has looked healthy and has been draining threes like it’s 2008.

    Haslem has looked better than he has the past couple of years, and Anthony is creeping back into the rotation. I think Spo wants to see more D out there, although there will be nights that Lewis gets his run.

    • badintent - Nov 26, 2012 at 1:51 AM

      If Coach wants more D, then you can forget about ever seeing Lewis on the court.How you can be 6’10 ” and not a single D rebound in 25 minutes is beyond me.

    • totallyuselessme - Nov 26, 2012 at 2:03 AM

      Spo’s a much smarter guy than he gets credit for. This guy worked his way up from being a run-of-the-mill video assistant. You don’t do that without smarts and hard work.

  5. rickyspanish - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    miamatt

    You speak with much correctitude, Spoelstra is always tinkering with his lineups, he’s a progressive thinker and people sometimes equate that to indecision when it’s nothing more than experimenting.

  6. misterdreamer119 - Nov 25, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    Hes chasing a ring what else you expect?

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