Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – While much of the offseason focus for the Miami Heat was on the acquisition of Ray Allen, it’s another big acquisition that could also pay big dividends for the Heat.
The Heat signed 6’10” swingman Rashard Lewis in the offseason. Lewis signed with Miami instead of taking more money elsewhere for one simple reason, getting back to the NBA Finals.
“Mainly the decision was on where I am in my career and what I’ve done in the past,” Lewis told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “I’ve been that main guy. Now I’m at a point where I can win an NBA championship.”
Lewis started his career in Seattle and when he left in 2007, he was the team’s all-time leader in three-pointers. After signing with Orlando, in his first season he hit 226 threes in the regular season. By his second season in Orlando, the Magic advanced to the NBA Finals, before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Then Lewis’ knees started giving him problems. After some injury-plagued seasons in Orlando and then being bought out in the offseason, Lewis wanted a fresh start in Miami and was more than willing to take less playing time to get it.
He told the Herald he wasn’t worried about the minutes he played or how much money he would make this season. He just wanted to go out a champion. But it all starts with how healthy Lewis can be throughout the season. The early results have been good.
According to the Herald, Lewis has participated in every minute of training camp so far and the only pain in his legs have been from getting back into shape during practice. If Lewis can stay healthy, it provides some interesting lineup possibilities for the Heat.
Lewis is familiar with playing both small and power forward. While his rebounding has never been top-notch, he still provides a big body that must be accounted for each time down the court by Heat opponents.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra could put a lineup on the court that features Dwyane Wade at the point, Ray Allen at shooting guard, Rashard Lewis at small forward, LeBron James at power forward, and Chris Bosh at center. It would feature two three-point specialists, Wade and LeBron’s slashing and Bosh at center.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)