Where is Rashard Lewis?
By: Pedro Heizer
If you have been paying attention to the Heat this season, you’ve certainly come to realize Rashard Lewis has faded in the Heat’s rotation.
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, averaging around seven points per game.
In the month of November, Lewis was averaging over 15 minutes per game, but this month it has been a completely different story. Of the eight games Miami has played this month, Lewis has played only half of them and has averaged 12 minutes, and just two points per game.
We all know Erik Spoelstra is notorious for not playing players who would play in any other team in the league, “There’s a lot of talent on the bench, a lot of guys that can play any given night,” Lewis said to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “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.”
Not many NBA team go more than 10 players deep into the rotation, and Miami is no exception. With Joel Anthony finally getting more playing time and producing, and the fact Udonis Haslem has once again regained a starting job, it pushes Shane Battier to come off the bench and it pretty much pushes Lewis to the back on the rotation with guys like James Jones, Terrel Harris and Dexter Pittman.
However, it’s not clear at this point whether this is just early-season lineup tinkering from Erik Spoelstra, or if the demotion might have longer-lasting effects.
Heat fans know Spoelstra is notorious in changing his rotations. So who knows, he might go ahead and give Mike Miller a rest and use Lewis in his place.
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.
Either way, Lewis says he knew what he was signing up for when he came to Miami last summer.
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.