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Posted at 5:02 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Rashard Lewis completes first practice, to debut against Chicago

By Michael Lee

Rashard Lewis completed his first practice as a member of the Wizards, but he hardly broke a sweat, with Coach Flip Saunders keeping it light after a 33-point win over the Charlotte Bobcats. Lewis was a spectator for the win, having arrived only a few hours before the game and stating that he wasn't mentally prepared to play a game.


Who knew we'd be teammates this year? (AP Photo)

Saunders just wanted to get Lewis acclimated to a new system, and an offense that will require the 6-foot-10 former all-star to play both forward positions. Lewis is expected to provide some frontcourt versatility after being limited to simply being a stretch power forward in Orlando, where the Magic assembled a collection of three-point shooters around Dwight Howard (similar to Hakeem Olajuwon during Houston's championship years).

"It's most definitely different, especially after being fresh off the Orlando offense, it was just a couple days ago, and now I gotta put that on the backburner and remember everything," Lewis said. "I'm a guy that likes to know all the positions, from the one through the five even though I'm going to be playing the three and four. I like to know where everybody's at and what position. It'll take a little time just to learn everything."

Lewis had struggled going back to small forward this season in Orlando, where he averaged just 12.2 points, but said he doesn't have a preferred position with the Wizards. "Depending on the match-up," Lewis said. "Smaller guys obviously, from playing the three, post up the smaller guys, put a big on me, try to bring them out on the perimeter, defend out on the perimeter. I think he's trying to use my size as an advantage, pretty much at the position I played when I was in Seattle for nine years."

Saunders said he would most like to see Lewis resemble the player he was with the SuperSonics. He had his two 20-point scoring seasons and made an all-star team in Seattle, where he played off Ray Allen and provided matchup problems most nights. "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."

Lewis will come off the bench in his debut on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls, as he tries to get acclimated to his new team. Saunders said he Lewis will probably play between 20 and 30 minutes "to get him a comfort level."

Lewis said he is willing to be patient with all the changes happening around him. "You never want to jump ahead of yourself, kind of fit your way in, watch and observe everything. It's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take a little time to just kind of get used to the offense and get a rhythm going. But about a week or so I think everything will start smoothing out because I gotta figure out how these guys play as well as they figuring out how I play, where I like the ball. It'll still be a learning process, but that's part of the job."

By Michael Lee  | December 21, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  Rashard Lewis  
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Next: Wizards communicating better, playing harder

Comments

Ray Lewis or Ray Allen?

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | December 21, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Rashard Lewis, once a SuperSonic teammate of Ray Allen, now with the Celts.

Posted by: midlevex_ | December 21, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

like ive said before...who cares about anyones feelings..START HIM IMMEDIATLEY

Posted by: mrhney03 | December 21, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"like ive said before...who cares about anyones feelings..START HIM IMMEDIATLEY Posted by: mrhney03"

Why? is it some sort of status thing?

We've been reading how Rashard's production was off this year, but not much. He's only averaging 1.9 points less than '09 -- for a 3 point shooter, that's nothing -- and in boards, assists, steals, TOs, he's pretty close to where he was the season before. The gap is in his shooting percentage, FGs, 3's, and FTs. He's not terrible in any of them, just off from his prior campaign. He says it's because Orlando wasn't running as many plays for him. Designed plays lead to open shots. The real fall-off was from '08 to '09. He just took a lot fewer shots.

Let's hope this is sort of a career revival for the guy. It's a rebuilding situation, and he may well not be here in future seasons, so maybe that's an incentive to play hard and look good.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I guess my idea would be to break a new player in more gradually. Give him a chance to get accustomed to the plays and the players. He's got 12 years in the league, knows the opponents, he's been averaging 32 minutes so he's probably in shape and he's not coming off an injury or anything. The main thing is to let him see what the Wiz have to offer.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Listening to Gil's comments shows that he never got past how the Wizards handled the gun incident.
Posted by: 33dgriffin

Seems like the Wiz never got over how Gil handled the gun incident, either.

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the Wiz never got over how Gil handled the gun incident, either.

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Why are we still talking about Gil? I heard he got traded to Orlando and is coming off the bench! Time to turn the page! Why? He ain't here anymore!

Posted by: zack9633 | December 21, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The crawl on NBA TV just said John Wall- broken foot. That's a mistake, right??

Posted by: larryrob | December 21, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

"The crawl on NBA TV just said John Wall- broken foot. That's a mistake, right??
Posted by: larryrob"

I guess we'll soon know. Could be worse -- look at what happened to Blake Griffin last season.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Seems like the Wiz never got over how Gil handled the gun incident, either.

Posted by: ts35

Why are we still talking about Gil? I heard he got traded to Orlando and is coming off the bench! Time to turn the page! Why? He ain't here anymore!

Posted by: zack9633

Um, there are people on these boards who are still going back to signing Gil to his contract 3 years ago, chastising EG for firing EJ, failing to draft DeJuan Blair and trading last year's number 5 pick. If you want everyone to live in the present, start with those folks and work your way forward.

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"The crawl on NBA TV just said John Wall- broken foot. That's a mistake, right??"
Posted by: larryrob

I guess we'll soon know. Could be worse -- look at what happened to Blake Griffin last season.

Posted by: Samson151

I don't see that info anywhere. The stuff I read speculates that they might have goofed and meant Brandon Jennings (who does have a broken foot).

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

In other news (more of just an update to the stuff Samson has been posting)

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AkXsgvQViET1XZmc_QJCUha8vLYF?slug=aw-anthonytalks122110

I didn't think 'Melo would be willing to go to Jersey given what they would have to give up to get him. Sounds like he's only willing if they can bring other talent with him.

Curious to see if the Wiz are part of it somehow. I think it's unlikely, but you never know.

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

AB, McGee, Thornton, NY and KH just played two great games - mostly - why break up a good thing? Ease Lewis in, no rush.

Posted by: charley42 | December 21, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

"AB, McGee, Thornton, NY and KH just played two great games - mostly - why break up a good thing? Ease Lewis in, no rush."

Insert Lewis immediately and bench Blatche.

Lewis is a "pro" and Blatche is a bum. Besides there's no reason to hold him out, the Wiz have just 7 wins on the year. They need his leadership on the floor.

Once Wall comes back and Howard is strong enough for more minutes then they will have 4 legit starters who can match up with other teams. I like this trade more and more I think about it.

Wall, NY, Lewis, Howard, and McGee.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 21, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Wall, Young, Howard, Lewis, and McGee is the starting lineup I'd eventually like to see, but I can understand giving Lewis and Howard a few games to get their feet wet off the bench. But overall, I think having two vets on the floor with Wall (when he returns) will help his development, and bringing Hinrich off the bench as PG, will maximize his value and help stabilize the second unit.

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 21, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

" If you want everyone to live in the present, start with those folks and work your way forward.Posted by: ts35"

Plus they never should have let Pearl Monroe leave. Those rat bustards.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

"Wall, Young, Howard, Lewis, and McGee is the starting lineup I'd eventually like to see..."Posted by: kalo_rama"

Well, I could think of worse, but that's a starting lineup courtesy of Dunkin Donuts.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW, weren't we putting McGee up for the All-Star ballot just a couple weeks back? Wha' hoppen?

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- the Bulls beat Philly by 45 points tonight.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

"Well, I could think of worse, but that's a starting lineup courtesy of Dunkin Donuts."

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2010 11:32 PM

True, but it's not like they're stocked with better options. Seraphin's not ready to start full-time and there's no evidence to suggest that Blatche or Armstrong are going to provide a powerful interior presence.

On a different note, the Magic lost again and the new guys looked bad doing it (while Howard had another monster game in a vain attempt to carry them). "It can't get any worse," Howard said of his team's slide.

Famous last words?

Posted by: kalo_rama | December 22, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

So I notice the Wages of Wins folks are now predicting (following Sunday's games) that the Wiz will finish with 19.1 wins this season. They calc this after dividing offensive by defensive efficiency. The only team they project to finish with a worse record is Cleveland (17.2 wins). Sacramento and Minnesota are projected to be a few wins better.

Of course, they have the Bobcats at 29 wins, so maybe we should pour some salt on that before consumption.

I don't know how seriously anybody should take projections like this, because they're so closely related to the behavior of one star player who can get hurt (for instance, John Wall). With John Wall out for an extended period, the numbers say we could be significantly worse --- NJ Net's '09 worse.

But at least they provide a benchmark based on something other than fan enthusiasm. We can use it to measure the team's performance, establishing some level of 'accountability', something many fans here have been longing for ( unless it demonstates that the GM and coaches are NOT complete morons, in which case those same fans want no part of it.)

As well as for assessing the value of statistics-based won-loss projections in general.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 22, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

It's not like it rock science. I can't believe that most every player knows the whole offense and not just their own position. Not a FAVORABLE IMPRESSION TO START OFF WITH.

Posted by: bobilly1 | December 22, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

It's not like it rock science. I can't believe that most every player knows the whole offense and not just their own position.

Based on observation to date, I can't believe that most players necessarily know even their own position. Maybe it's "rock science" after all.

Posted by: nmik | December 22, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

People talk about McGee's freakish athleticism. Check out Blake Griffin some night. That cat should be in the circus the way he flies around the court.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 22, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

LOL'ing at how Gil can't crack the starting lineup or get crunch time minutes over... J.J. Redick...

Posted by: bernard_thompson | December 22, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

It's not like it rock science. I can't believe that most every player knows the whole offense and not just their own position. Not a FAVORABLE IMPRESSION TO START OFF WITH.

Posted by: bobilly1 | December 22, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young was in the dog house last season because he didn't know the plays. Clearly, NY doesn't have a future designing rockets.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 22, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The trade of Nick Weatherspoon to the Sonics for that incredible stiff Leonard Gray -- What were they THINKING?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 22, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

LOL'ing at how Gil can't crack the starting lineup or get crunch time minutes over... J.J. Redick...

Posted by: bernard_thompson | December 22, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Gil's been in Orlando for about 10 minutes. Redick's in the lineup to knock down open jumpers. That's his role.

Posted by: randysbailin | December 22, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The trade of Nick Weatherspoon to the Sonics for that incredible stiff Leonard Gray -- What were they THINKING?

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 22, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

That was like 35 years ago. It might be time to get over that one :)

Posted by: randysbailin | December 22, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

"...Weatherspoon to the Sonics for that incredible stiff Leonard Gray -- What were they THINKING?"

And drafting Wes Unseld to play center -- the guy isn't even 6'6", fer Pete's sake!! Might as well play Hinrich at the 3 spot!!

That Grunfeld has a lot to answer for...

Posted by: Samson151 | December 22, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Um, there are people on these boards who are still going back to signing Gil to his contract 3 years ago, chastising EG for firing EJ, failing to draft DeJuan Blair and trading last year's number 5 pick. If you want everyone to live in the present, start with those folks and work your way forward.

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 9:24 PM |
----------------------------------
This assessment is PRICELESS!!!...Nailed!

Posted by: bazteal | December 22, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Um, there are people on these boards who are still going back to signing Gil to his contract 3 years ago, chastising EG for firing EJ, failing to draft DeJuan Blair and trading last year's number 5 pick. If you want everyone to live in the present, start with those folks and work your way forward.

Posted by: ts35 | December 21, 2010 9:24 PM |
----------------------------------
This assessment is PRICELESS!!!...Nailed!

Posted by: bazteal | December 22, 2010 12:29 PM

Maybe some are using "Rock Science".

Posted by: VBFan | December 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Regarding projecting wins, I wonder how well anyone can quantify the intangibles. Now that Josh Howard is back, he seems to be meshing well. Will Rashard? Don't know. But he's talented enough and bolsters the team at both forward positions, and could cause Blatche to step up his offcourt regimen, as others have suggested, so he could make a big difference. NY seems to be consistently playing O and D; Seraphin's looking good; Wall will presumably be back, etc. I think the team is more talented than outsiders and naysayers give credit. I doubt that we'll see seven game losing streaks again. We might even see some three and four game winning streaks.

I think the Wiz will finish with over 30 wins, though I'm still pulling for that 8 spot.

Posted by: 7snider7 | December 22, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

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