Rashard Lewis has been a complete no-show through four games of the Eastern Conference Finals. To say Orlando‘s highest paid player has been horrible would be an understatement. Through four games, Lewis is 29% shooting overall and 18% from beyond the arc. He has averaged 7.0 points, a number that would be lower if not for his 13-point performance in Game 4 — his best of the series. The lock-down defense being played by the Celtics hasn’t helped, but Lewis has been especially bad.
Blogs, newspapers, radio stations, and any other media outlets that deal with sports have crucified Lewis non-stop for over a week. Apparently he has a reason for his poor play — a seemingly good one at that. The forward disclosed today that he has been sick throughout the entire series with a viral infection. Here’s what the Magic superstar had to say about being under the weather:
Overall it effects you. I’ve been throwing up. I haven’t been at full strength. I’ve been feeling weak, my legs been feeling weak. I find myself getting tired very fast in the first quarter. You know, when you can’t hold food down you have no energy in your body to go out there and perform. Regular season, I probably would have sat out. Not to make no excuses, it is the playoffs. You just got to go out there and give it 110 percent. It’s the playoffs. I’ve got to drag myself out there if anything.
Nobody likes a cry-baby, and that’s probably why Lewis waited so long to share this with the public. However, I’m not sure it would have hurt his image to come out with it a while ago. It’s a pretty legit excuse, and disclosing it before you stink out the building for four straight games wouldn’t be a bad idea in my opinion. Regardless, he chose to wait until the day of Game 5 to let people know. We’ll have to wait and see how it affects the way Stan Van Gundy uses him — if at all.