A Quick Rundown on Rashard Lewis' Struggles Against the Boston Celtics | Magic Basketball

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May 21

A Quick Rundown on Rashard Lewis’ Struggles Against the Boston Celtics

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Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Via Peter D. Newmann of ESPN NBA Statistics and Information Research

Rashard Lewis has been an absolute non-factor in this series. This comes after he was a major factor against the Celtics in the 2009 postseason. Lewis has as many points as rebounds in this series. How many of his struggles can be attributed to the presence of Kevin Garnett?

Postseason History vs. Celtics:

2009 2010
PPG 20.4 5.5
FG Pct. 45.5 25.0
3-PT FG Pct. 32.4 11.1
RPG 6.3 5.5
Plus/Minus +40 -13
12 comments
Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@10-Dee-Q

My response echoes @Billy (slickw143) ... he put it best.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Rondo and Nelson are two different kinds of players in two different kinds of offensive systems. Saying "Nelson doesn't have enough assists, just look at Rondo's numbers!" is like saying, "Rondo doesn't have enough 3's, just look at Nelson's numbers!" It is a folly to compare the two in certain regards.

10-Dee-Q
10-Dee-Q

i'm vc fan btw,
i really hope the magic can overcome this deficit and evventually win this year.
time is running out for VC

10-Dee-Q
10-Dee-Q

yeah i watched a few of them actually
but nelson assist in the playoff are very low
look at rondo for comparison.
and also u doesnt really need that special to be guarding rondo i think as his outside shooting are not really good. just let him drive inside, and dont double team him.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@10-Dee-Q

First, Redick can't play point. Second, he doesn't have the foot-speed to contain someone like Rondo. Third, Nelson's assists are very low? During the regular season, Nelson's assist percentage was 32.1 percent ... which was right there with players like Jose Calderon, Darren Collison, Andre Miller, and others. To accuse Nelson of playing street ball is a bit ridiculous.

Nelson's percentage in the playoffs, currently, is 28.1 percent.

I'm not sure if you've watched the Magic a lot, and from reading your comment, it doesn't look like you have. Your lineup suggestion wouldn't work. And also, lack of ball movement has never been a criticism for Orlando. The Magic are struggling to move the basketball like they've had in the past because the Celtics are executing a sound defensive strategy.

10-Dee-Q
10-Dee-Q

Nelson is a good scoring PG, but his assist is very low.
this is not a street ball, this is NBA playoff , move the ball, rotate the ball, find anybody who is open.
a PG should shoot or drive when there is an open road ahead, but contesting shots with much taller defender is not what a PG should do.

in my opinion the best line up for this series would be :

-PG JJ reddick (guarding Rondo)
-SG VC (guarding allen)
-SF Rashad Lewis ( guarding pierce) only if lewis can overcome his poor shooting.
-PF Gortat (guarding perkins)
-C Howard (guarding garnett)

and move the ball a lot!
celtics are an old team, they have more experience and more tricks up their sleeves, but remember , as they get older, they lose some speed!
so move the ball fast, play at fast pace, and find those shooter outside!

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera

@Jay P

I'm not surprised by Lewis' struggles against Garnett. I am surprised, though, at how much Lewis has struggled. Lewis' lack of scoring really has hurt the Magic in the first two games of the series, especially considering how close the losses were even though the Celtics led in Games 1 and 2 for a majority of the time. Honestly, if Lewis can somehow find a way to produce, even if it's not to use usual standards, Orlando has a chance to get back in it. That's a big "if" ...

@Matt

I wouldn't be surprised if that's something the Magic try to do with Lewis in Game 3. Problem is, Orlando has done such a poor job of finishing at the rim excluding Howard, have to wonder how effective Lewis will be attacking the basket. That being said, Lewis should try at least.

@Billy (slickw143)

It's an interesting idea. I do think, given how poorly Barnes has played, the Magic should consider benching him but I can understand why Van Gundy won't do it ... he makes a valid point when talking about the mental aspects of making such a move in the middle of a series.

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

"Nelson or Barnes"? So you want to consider benching Jameer, our most consistent performer in these playoffs, not to mention our PG, just to get Gortat in the starting line-up? No thanks.

julius
julius

Orlando starting 5 should be...
Howard Center..... guarding Garnett
Gortat Pforward...guarding Perkins
Lewis Sforward...guarding Pierce
Carter guard .....guarding Allen
Nelson or Barnes..guarding Rondo

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

You make fair points Jay P, but as Matt said, some of it has been on both Rashard and also Van Gundy. Thibodeau has made some adjustments to keep Rashard from getting a lot of looks he's comfortable with, and Van Gundy has to do the same to counter that. Rashard has been too clutch of a performer in the playoffs really the last 3 years for us to stay invisible every game in this series. Or maybe he will and people will criticize him and the Magic's overall playstyle all off-season. Who knows.

Matt
Matt

Fair enough on Garnett's defense, but how could his missing of open 3 pointers be explained? How about at least trying to drive on Garnett to see if his repaired knee would hold up?

Jay P
Jay P

I'm a Celtics fan, so this will probably be taken as homerism. However, I'm not sure why you're entirely surprised he's at least less of a factor now than last year. Some of it is on him, obviously, but honestly, did you really expect him to have the same production agaisnt Kevin Garnett as he did agaisnt Brian Scalabrine and Glen Davis? Come on...

That being said, I knew he'd struggle, he hasn't faced a defender like Garnett in the playoffs since well... never since they never faced Boston in 08, when 100% KG is the best defender at that position in Basketball, hands down (if he's even 100% right now though... debatable, he very clearly wasn't most of this year.) However, even Boston fans didn't really expect his just complete and utter disappearance to this degree.