While forward Rashard Lewis has scored only seven points and shot 2-of-9 from the floor while averaging 21 minutes in two preseason games, Wizards Coach Flip Saunders said the 13-year veteran is adjusting to the condensed training camp and practice schedule while still providing the defense that the team needs.
Granted it’s a small sample size, but Lewis’s preseason 3.5 ppg average is the lowest since he averaged 1.5 ppg in two preseason games as a rookie. While the entire Wizards offense has looked out of sync, the veteran forward hasn’t looked comfortable in either of the Wizards’ preseason starts.
Saunders wasn’t concerned about Lewis’s start, saying the veteran will soon build up his strength with some rest and that he looked sharp in Wednesday’s practice, earning the hard hat for being the hardest worker that day.
“His main thing, we talk about your older guys, we’re going through a young man’s training camp,” Saunders said. “Older players struggle in those camps because it does take a toll. Today, Rashard shot the ball really well and had good legs. But in the second hour, his legs got on him.”
What impressed Saunders about Lewis’s preseason performances was his defense. He held Philadelphia forward Andre Iguodala, the team’s second-leading scorer last season, to zero points in the first preseason game and limited his impact in Tuesday’s game.
“He shut him out in the first game and was 0-fot-6,” Saunders said “Last night, he hadn’t scored and we took him out and he had like 11 into the third, fourth quarter when Rashard wasn’t in there. What we’ve emphasized on defense, he’s done exactly what we want him to do.”