NBA / May 20, 2010 / 2:30 pm

Stan Van Gundy’s plan for Rashard Lewis

In trying to solve the puzzle that is Rashard Lewis‘ lack of production in the Eastern Conference Finals (5.5 ppg, 25% FG), it could be a complicated theory of motivation and mental blocks — or it could be as simple as the fact that Rashard has Kevin Garnett guarding him.

Either way, Orlando’s most prolific outside shooter, who averaged 20.4 points in the Magic’s second-round playoff win over Boston last year, needs to get it going if his team is going to avoid getting swept out of this postseason. Coach Stan Van Gundy is working on a plan, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel:

“They are staying home on him,” Van Gundy said. “It’s incumbent on me as far as Rashard. I have to find a way to get him involved. It’s not that he’s playing badly.”

Lewis is averaging 5.5 points per game in the series. His counterpart at the power forward position, Kevin Garnett, is averaging 9.0 points per game.

Garnett has made a bigger impact late in games. His 13-foot fadeaway jumper with 2:45 remaining in Tuesday night’s fourth quarter gave the Boston Celtics a 91-90 lead. The Celtics never trailed again.

“Kevin Garnett is always a difference-maker,” Lewis said. “He’s active. He makes it tough when you’re going to the basket, and he’s one of their main defenders.”

Getting into Rashard’s face when he wants to shoot jumpers is the best way to shut him down, but it’s not like he can’t go to the rim, especially against Boston. In a national TV game earlier this season, Lewis blew past KG on his way to hitting a game-winning layup in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. In Game 2 the other night, he was able to get into the paint off the dribble, but he was just missing when he got there.

Even if Van Gundy has figured out what he wants to do to get Rashard more involved, it’s not like he’s going to tell anyone two days before Game 3 so the Celtics have time to combat his plan. Or perhaps the Magic figure it’s best to keep Rashard in this “decoy” role if it means taking Garnett out of the equation as a help defender.

If you’re coaching Orlando, what adjustments would you make for Game 3?

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  • Bizz

    The funniest thing about all of this, was in Common and Queen Latifah’s movie “Just Wright”…the Eastern All-Star team starting 5 was Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Common, and….



    118 million could help go towards world hunger, a cure for AIDS, Haiti or other worthwhile causes. Instead it’s going to a shooter who moonlights as Casper during the playoffs.

    Celtics in 5.

  • control

    Ron Jeremy needs to arrange a meeting with Kevin Bacon…get him to let Shard know how he stopped being the invisible man. That is all Shard has been this series: Invisible. Can’t even tell his ugly goat face is on the court most of the time.

  • The Other Aj

    can’t even begin to fathom the fact that this dude is making 100 million dollars…


  • The Other Aj

    This is another example of 2nd tier guys making top tier money…

    This is what he is, an up and down, hot and cold, streaky shooter. Just a taller version of Mo Williams

  • me

    if his plan doesn’t start with b, and end with -ench, it ain’t gonna work.

    I’m just sayin’.

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    Kevin doesn’t drag that knee like did earlier this year.
    He’s obviously feeling better.

    Rashard just needs to attack the rim…even though it’s the funniest, most awkward drive ever.


    …even for perimeter jump shooters…

  • LB

    Hahahaha that’s 118 mil for 5 points a game. Who says we’re in a recession?

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganlight loganlight

    He caught the VC disease. All he wants to do is shoot jumpers. Even JJ knows that in order for him to get those open looks he has to put the ball on the floor from time to time.

    STOP SHOOTING 3’s and drive to the basket every now and again.


  • http://facebook.com/togstadlives Jeremiah Togstad

    If Stan really wants to get Rashard open and involved, he should put BOTH Dwight and Gortat on the court at the same time. That way Lewis could play the 3 and likely get an easier match-up on both offense and defense.

    Then again, Dimemag and others have been clamoring for years for Van Gundy to do this…

    I don’t know what Gortat’s +/- is this series, but it seems like every time he’s been on the court, he has been cramming shots and getting easy dunks on pick-n-rolls.

    Van Gundy doesn’t have anything to lose, so I don’t understand why he doesn’t try to go big with D12 at the 5, Gortat at the 4, Lewis at the 3, Carter at 2, and Nelson at the 1. But then again, what do I know? I’m just a pothead that likes watching and playing basketball.

  • http://diaryofatiredblackman.wordpress.com/ Cal

    Van Gundy’s an idiot. Lewis IS playing crappy. He needs to play better. Personally I’ve never been sold on the guy. They shoulda kept Hedo.


  • Joe’s Momma

    You keep bringing up how he made that game winning layup earlier this year. Remember, he did that against a gimpy KG. A healthy Garnett would have sent that to the 4th row.

    Jeremiah is right. This guy is not made out to play the 4. If they want to free him up, you need to start Gortat and Howard and allow Lewis to play the 3. KG is not leaving him, and he can’t go around KG. Barnes is hurt, he can give you the same production coming off the bench.

    He keeps pump faking but since he let off like 5 shots the first 2 games, no one is going for the fakes except his own teammates who think he’s finally gonna let it fly.

  • Davis

    This is so easy and it’s so frustrating to see being a huge Magic fan and being in Orlando.

    This can be solved different ways but the problem still remains: Rashard Lewis is a terrible matchup against a healthy KG. His lack of aggressiveness and non-existent defense make him a huge problem for the Magic.

    Van Gundy could easily solve this by playing Gortat/Howard or what i’ve been saying all along…. FREAKIN PLAY BRANDON BASS.. I can’t believe no one has said this, it’s the most obvious solution to the Magic’s problem..

    Not only can he matchup well with Glen Davis or any Boston big aside from maybe ‘Sheed with his 3’s and Perkins with his height but also he can create his own shot either taking it to the rim or with his mid-range jumper, and also collect all those rebounds Orlando seems to be missing

    Van Gundy has seemed to have some kind of unspoken beef with Bass all season long but he’s got to play hime now. Orlando would at least make the series interesting..

    What y’all think?

  • OneZero

    Brandon Bass, I too would like to know what happened with him. There must be something going on there, the dude is not given any chance to impress

    he can shoot a little jumper, quite athletic for a guy his size, can dunk on you. He’s a bit like Leon Powe

    at least put him in to annoy KG, but where he is

    also Rashard sucks, but he’s one of the luckiest man on earth.

  • arisloco

    I’m with you OneZero and Davis. This pathetic Magic coach should let Brandon Bass play. They shoulda sent Bass to other teams so they can use his skills on the court. Unlike with the Magic where he was just sitting on the bench and telling himself “If I was there, I could make a difference.”. Very sad to think specially coming from a huge Magic fan.

  • zcw

    Pat Riley would win a chip with this team.

  • crossphaded

    I’m pullin for Rashard. I don’t think he’s getting enough touches in this series. He definitely can get more aggressive and drive more to the hoop but I know sometimes it would be out of Coach Van Gundy’s game plan.
    Speaking of SVG, I’ve never been a big fan of his coaching style. He’s a regular season winning coach, but not a championship-caliber winning coach. He is easily flustered, esp. in playoff intensity, and his decisions and gameplan when its crunchtime seems off. He’s no better than Mike Brown or Avery Johnson. They can get their team to the top of the mountain, but not completely over the pinnacle.