Evaluating Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis
No. 9 Power Forward
Points Per Game Rebounds Per Game Blocks Per Game
17.7 5.7 0.6
Points Per 36 Rebounds Per 36 Blocks Per 36
17.6 5.7 0.6
PER Rebound Rate Block Rate
16.8 8.9 1.3
FG% 3FG% FT%
43.9% 39.7% 83.6%
eFG% TS%
54.0% 58.0%

All statistics in this table from Lewis' player page at basketball-reference. Career-high statistics highlighted in gold.

This season, his second with the Orlando Magic, Rashard Lewis became an All-Star for just the second time in his 10-year career. He benefitted from playing for an elite team, sure, and one can certainly debate the merits of his inclusion on the squad. What isn't really up for debate? Sweet Lew's steadiness, at least this year. His statistics are nearly identical from a year ago. So he's the highest-paid player, and an All-Star, on a team that was 3 wins away from a championship. Surely that counts for something in his evaluation.

Indeed it does. In addition to providing another impressive three-point shooting campaign--he bagged 220 treys for the second straight season, joining Mookie Blaylock and Antoine Walker as the only players to ever accomplish such a feat--and the resulting floor spacing, he slightly improved his rebounding (especially in the playoffs), playmaking (it doesn't show in the chart, but he set a new high in assist rate), and defense.

He maintained his reputation for coming up big when it counts. He was Orlando's second-leading scorer during the postseason; hit the deciding shot in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals; hit the go-ahead shot in regulation of Game 4 of the ECFs, then made the clinching free throw in OT; buoyed the struggling Magic with 18 of their 20 second-quarter points in Game 2 of the Finals, which they wound up losing; and scored 21 points in Game 3 of the Finals.

With that said, there's still cause for concern going forward. After peaking in Game 2, he managed just 45 points on 43 shots in 132 minutes the rest of the way. He's unlikely to duplicate his volume three-point shooting from this season, as detailed in the link above. And, at 7338 minutes played during the last two seasons, counting the playoffs, he's got a lot of miles on his tires, so to speak, since joining the Magic. For a guy who only just started playing power forward, that might start taking its toll.

Late Finals disappearance or not, 'Shard is still an asset to the Magic. He can become even more of one by asserting himself more on his rare forays to the basket. He can't shy away from contact, as he's been doing for a while, and still hope to convert at a high percentage. But let's not knock the guy too hard. 17.6 points per game, with unknown scads more for Dwight Howard via an assist or spacing created with his presence on the floor? That's nice, real nice. The Magic just need to hope he finds a way to compensate for his three-point shooting in the likely event it falls off next year. This year, though, was a strong campaign by the veteran sharpshooter.

As usual.

Grade: A-

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