Magic touch missing

Lewis needs to give them more

By Jarrod N. Rudolph
Globe Correspondent / May 21, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

MAITLAND, Fla. — The Orlando Magic have won in Boston. In fact, they won the two regular-season meetings at TD Garden this season. They also won Game 1 and Game 7 in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.

But those were against a different Celtics team. The one the Magic are facing now is quickly starting to look like the monstrous championship team of two years ago. If the Magic hope to extend this series beyond Monday’s episode of “CSI: Miami,’’ Rashard Lewis is going to have to recapture his All-Star form quickly.

“The past couple of days I have been thinking to myself of things I can do to get myself going,’’ Lewis said. “If they keep denying me the way they are, then crash the offensive glass. Catch the ball and try to take them off the dribble. Maybe force a play every once in a while.

“I just want to try to get some type of rhythm going because they’re completely trying to take me out on the offensive end of the floor.’’

The Celtics have done a magical job of making the two-time All-Star disappear. It’s been a problem all season, as Lewis averaged 14.1 points and 4.4 rebounds, his poorest seasons in both categories in 10 years.

Through the series’s first two games, Lewis has struggled to find any flow on the offensive end. Shooting 4 of 16, including a surprising 1 of 9 from behind the arc, the Magic forward hasn’t been able to provide consistent offense.

Kevin Garnett, the 2008 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has limited most of Lewis’s offensive options. Lewis hasn’t been able to capitalize on the few opportunities he’s had, something the 30-year-old forward knows must change.

“If I would have made that lefthanded layup I missed, or if I would have got that big key rebound with a minute and half to go,’’ Lewis said. “There is always stuff you can point out that you wish you could have done to help the team win the game.’’

Lewis, who has managed 11 points and 11 rebounds in the first two games, is still very confident he can contribute to a comeback from the 0-2 deficit. But he isn’t putting any pressure on himself.

In fact, Lewis believes he has played well, that he just failed to find his offensive groove.

“No pressure on myself at all,’’ Lewis said. “I’m going to come ready to play and I’m going to play loose. I actually thought I played pretty well, just not on the offensive end. I haven’t got very many shots.

“Overall I thought I played hard and played good defense. I think you have to adjust to the defense they’re playing. It’s all about adjustments from game to game. We made some adjustments today and hopefully they’ll work [tomorrow].’’

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy acknowledged the team would make some changes to help Lewis, but he wasn’t willing to reveal any of his plans.

“No, I’d rather not,’’ Van Gundy said. “We certainly had a little bit of a focus today both on some things that Rashard has to sort of do differently on his own, and we are going to try to do a couple of things for him.

“Nothing revolutionary and nothing that’s going to cause Doc [Rivers] and the Celtics coaching staff to go, ‘Wow, how the hell are we going to guard that?’

“I don’t have those moments of genius inspiration, and they’re a very good team. But we are going to try a couple of things to give him more opportunities.’’

Celtics player search

Find the latest stats and news on:

Celtics Video

Tweets on the Celtics

Check out what everyone on Twitter is saying about the Celtics.   (Note: Content is unmoderated and may contain expletives)