Over the past couple of years, we have heard Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra talk about the fact that he believes that veteran forward Rashard Lewis can be an important piece for this team in a role off of the bench. Considering that he was largely ineffective in 14.4 minutes off of the bench last season in the 55 games he appeared in, though, that seemed like a ways away.
However, Lewis has seen an increase in his role this season for the Heat and has been effective in that role. Through their first 11 games of the season, Lewis averaged 5.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 19.1 minutes per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from long-range.
In the Heat’s 12th game of the season, a narrow victory over the Orlando Magic, Lewis was largely ineffective as he finished the game with just four points and one rebound in 18 minutes while hitting only two of his six shot attempts. That’s far from the value that he’s given this Heat team this season, though.
As Spoelstra talked about, Lewis has been a bit of a spark off of the bench for the Heat. Though he’s still not the player that he once was back in his prime, he’s been a big body that they can throw out there to help rebound and stretch the floor on offense. As the Heat look to three-peat this season, they knew they were going to need a bit of a different look to throw at people and to improve. Lewis, as improbable as you might have thought it would be, could be that piece that gives them a boost on their way to a third title.