Tuesday, August 8

Happy Birthday, Rashard


In honor of Rashard Lewis' 27th birthday today (hey, doesn't it seem like he's been in his 20s for about 13 years now?), here are 5 facts about Rashard Lewis that even most die-hard Sonic fans probably don't know:

1. Rashard's most comparable player at age 26 is James Worthy
2. Despite not making the All-Star team in '05-'06 after making it the year before, Rashard stats are identical for the 2 seasons, perhaps even better for this past season
3. The last 10 guys picked in the 1st round of the '98 draft, while Lewis sat in the green room and stewed: Roshown McLeod, Ricky Davis, Brian Skinner, Tyronn Lue, Felipe Lopez, Al Harrington, Sam Jacobson, Vladimir Stepania, Corey Benjamin, Nazr Mohammed
4. Of the 31 guys picked ahead of Lewis in the draft, only 5 have scored as many points (Bibby, Jamison, Carter, Nowitzki, and Pierce)
5. At age 26, Lewis averaged 20 pts, 5 boards, 2 assists, and 1 steal. At age 26, Worthy averaged 20 pts, 5 boards, 4 assists, and 1 steal.

Rashard's a tough guy to pigeonhole. 6'10", he's a great outside shooter, yet he can also run the floor. He's not much for defense, but he's tall enough to shut down any SF in the league. He's been in Seattle longer than any Sonic, yet he's not nearly as popular as guys that have arrived since his debut. In sum, he is a conundrum, a tall small forward whose phenomenal talent has left Sonic fans always wanting more.

But maybe, just maybe, we should just accept Rashard for what he is - a classic 3. Great scorer, acceptable defender, capable of scoring 20 points every night, and a borderline all star. I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't mind having a guy like that on my team.

10 comments:

T Dawg said...

well put. particularly the thought about "talent has left sonic fans always wanting more" and "-a classic 3."

those two things together, to me, are a sharp reminder of Derrick McKey, who was a classic 3 from which I always wanted more.

How are their numbers for comparison at age 26 season?

In addition, both Worthy and McKey played on teams that had other major options, therefor the ppg of Rashard may not be equally indicative of his relative worth in comparison to either player (as McKey may have scored less but was better defensively.)

And understand I'm not knocking Rashard, I like him.

nuss said...

I agree with all of your points. Both Worthy and McKey offered much more than offense to their teams, and both were much further down the totem pole as far as options on the offense. Of course, they both played (especially Worthy) in a much more offensive oriented time (e.g., the '88 Lakers averaged 113 ppg, Worthy averaged 19.7; the '06 Sonics averaged 103 ppg, Lewis averaged 20).

You got my main point, though, that Lewis is a lot better than he's been given credit for in Seattle, and I suspect that if the Sonics were to trade for someone with his abilities, the whole town would be going crazy with excitement for next season.

dick tate said...

I love how Worthy would post up and then do the quick drop step for the jam.

I think Rashard is an awesome offensive talent. I will point out however, that the teams winning the titles have stud defenders at the three spot.

T Dawg said...

'nuss, i do agree with the main point, and the irony of the "grass is greener" aspect of trading him...

and good point about the "offensive era" aspect, though I would argue today's rules are pushing the game back that way-- just look at D-Wade's 6392 FT's in the playoffs... either you avoid contact or the guy goes to the line...

also, thinking back, wasn't Worthy at least as much a PF as SF? Of course, Magic threw the whole "Numbers" philosophy out the door...

and for that team, having Byron Scott, a 2 that could cover 1's effectively, and Mike Cooper et all to cover 2's so Magic could slide to a 3/4 defensively was a huge key...

continuing on Dick Tate's argument, I'm not so sure that the defensive capability of the SF is the key to championships-- that's kind of like saying being a Zen-Master coach is a successful methodology, when in fact having the greatest SG/SF combo in history, or the most powerful force in the history of the game along with an incredibly talented SG seem to have far more importance to championship building than does Zen Coaching Methodology...

not that I wouldn't rather have a great defensive presence at the 3... but i'm not sold that is the key. That's essentially saying Bruce Bowen is the more important key to a championship, not Tim Duncan nor Dwayne Wade...

Anonymous said...

The biggest knock on Rashard Lewis (in my mind, at least) is that he can't stay healthy.

nuss said...

I assume you're joking, anonymous. Since becoming a regular, Rashard's played in 94% of Seattle's games, which is about as good as it gets in the NBA (AC Green, notwithstanding).

TheBigO said...

Rashard is the man, yeah he is a liitle soft defensivly, but I love the dude. I hope we keep him he still hasn't reached his full potential, I mean hell he's only 27. I hope we find a way to keep him because if our bigs develop the way we hope Rashard will be a nasty piece to our championship puzzle.

AK1984 said...

I'm still not a fan of Rashard Lewis.

Amar said...

"He's not much for defense, but he's tall enough to shut down any SF in the league."

There's a SF in C-Town that goes by the name "James." $100 says Shard can't come close to shutting him down.

Amar said...

Who here said that Shard can't stay healthy? Cat's missed like 4 or 5 games a year! That's it! You know what us folks in CTown have to go through with Larry Hughes? If you want, let's work out a Hughes for Lewis trade RIGHT NOW. I'll gladly sign off on it and choke our GM if he doesn't do it. Shard + BRON OMG!!!