Lewis credits McMillan for much of his NBA success
By Max Mandel Posted in: Magic, rashardlewis
Since entering the NBA directly out of high school, Rashard Lewis has had tremendous success as a 4/3 combo who can score from the perimeter and take a smaller defender into the post. At 6'10, Lewis is a match up nightmare with his ability to draw bigger defenders away from the paint and open up driving lanes for the rest of his team.
When these teams played in early December, Lewis spent a majority of his time using his size and length to score in the post. While much of his role will be determined by the type of defense that the Trail Blazers play tonight, Lewis is prepared to score both in the paint and on the perimeter.
"It depends what lineup they put out there. If I have a smaller guy on me, I'm sure coach will look to post me up a couple of times," Lewis explained. "We will still try and get the ball inside to Dwight. We know they (Portland) have some guys injured, so hopefully Dwight can take advantage of that and get their other bigs in foul trouble."
In the first meeting this season, Brandon Roy scored 33 points and nearly carried his team to victory. As Lewis explained, it's impossible to slow down a guy like Roy when he is playing at this high of a level.
"It's tough to guard a guy like Brandon Roy," Lewis admitted. "He can post up, he can shoot the ball well, he is a great iso player. We will see how he plays in the first quarter, but if he gets it rolling, we will eventually have to start double-teaming him."
After being selected in the second round of the 1998 draft, Lewis really began to blossom when Nate McMillan became head coach of the Sonics. Even to this day, Lewis still credits McMillan for much of his success.
"He is a great coach," Lewis said of McMillan. "I had a great relationship with him when I played for him in Seattle. He pretty much made me into the type of player that I am today. He is a great coach with X's and O's, he knows how to motivate his team and players and make them play hard, especially on the defensive end. He is a guy that is all about winning."
Like many people around the league, Lewis isn't surprised about the success the Trail Blazers have had despite the many injuries they have faced. He credits McMillan for keeping this team steady and focused through all the adversity.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Nate McMilan. It shows he is a great coach and he has to work with what he has and the guys that are available for him. He is putting those guys out there and he is making them play hard."