Orlando Magic All-2000s Team
Starting Power Forward: Rashard Lewis
3 seasons, 232 games played, 232 starts, 16.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 40.1% 3FG%
If Tracy McGrady is the best free agent signing in Orlando Magic history, then Rashard Lewis is the second. Lewis came over from the Seattle Supersonics after averaging 19.7 points per game the four seasons prior.
He proceeded to revolutionize the power forward position and push the Magic toward the 3-point revolution the league is continuing to experience today.
Rashard Lewis joined Orlando right after Grant Hill’s departure and was a veteran presence to pair with the young core of Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard.
He played three seasons during the 2000s decade and missed 14 games during that stretch. Ten of those games were based on a suspension from the NBA for a banned substance dating back to the 2009 Playoffs. He truly only missed four games in that span.
Lewis averaged 16.7 points per game. He was respectful as a secondary option to Dwight Howard and made the offense work.
As a stretch power forward he was able to spread the defense and give Howard options to score down low, or Howard could pass out of a double team to an open shooter.
This system is one of the first rosters constructed to shoot a lot of threes and can be credited to the major shift that has occurred in the NBA since.
Lewis was a one-time All-Star for Orlando in 2009, the same season the team made its finals run. He played in every playoff game while with the Magic, and his first two seasons averaged 19.3 points per game in the playoffs.
Lewis was undersized and out of position as a power forward, but coach Stan Van Gundy knew this was the best way to use Dwight Howard’s skills. Lewis accepted the challenge and embraced the role.
He was the missing piece of the puzzle to Howard’s Magic and gave them chances to win a championship. Many people forget how reliable he was and the impact he made.