Rashard Lewis has received a consistent torrent of criticism since the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, in which his lack of impact offensively aided in the Orlando Magic‘s inability to return to the NBA Finals last season after making an appearance in 2009. And this year, with each game that passes by and Lewis doesn’t perform up to his standards, the louder the critics have gotten.
It’s one game in the regular season and no one should lose sight of that, but it’s possible that Lewis turned a corner on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers on the offensive side of the ball. With Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter struggling to produce from the perimeter, the Magic needed someone to step up and provide some scoring to complement Dwight Howard‘s efforts in the interior.
Lewis answered the call.
The main thing that stood out, however, when Lewis scored all 21 of his points in the second and third quarters was how he generated his offense. To be specific, in the third quarter, Lewis was involved in a number of 1/4 pick and pops with Nelson. Normally, Lewis gets his shots by either spotting up on the perimeter or posting up on the low block. But instead, head coach Stan Van Gundy got Lewis involved in Orlando’s pick and roll schemes. Smart move.
It’d behoove Van Gundy if he didn’t keep running those types of plays for Lewis.