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Rashard Lewis Struggles in First Game with Washington Wizards

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In his first game with the Washington Wizards since the Orlando Magic traded him for Gilbert Arenas, forward Rashard Lewis struggled. The two-time All-Star shot 4-of-10 from the field, including 0-of-5 on three-pointers, for 8 points in 22 minutes off Washington's bench. He also added 3 rebounds, an assist, and a blocked shot.

Lewis asked to be excused from the Wizards' first game with him available, a 108-75 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, because he was not mentally prepared to play. Thus, he debuted tonight against the Chicago Bulls instead.

As Michael Lee of the Washington Post writes, Wizards coach Flip Saunders says he intends to use Lewis at both forward positions, depending on matchups--something the Magic tried this season to mixed results. Here's Saunders, as Lee quotes him, recalling Lewis' days with the Seattle SuperSonics:

"He was moved around the floor. He wasn't as one dimensional. They brought him off screens into the post. They could post him off little guys. Spread him on the floor against bigger guys and move him around a little bit."

Though Lewis came up a bit short in his Wizards debut, he already has more baskets with his new team than Arenas does with Orlando. In two games serving as a backup combo guard, Arenas has missed 14 of his 17 shots from the floor. Coach Stan Van Gundy has said he believes Arenas is trying a little too hard, but will soon return to form.

Orlando Pinstriped Post was the first to report Lewis' involvement in trade talks between the Magic and the Wizards, which were previously thought to center around a package of Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat.

To keep up with Lewis' post-Magic career, please check out SB Nation sister-site Bullets Forever.