MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When teams win championships, star players shine. But sometimes, with so much excitement surrounding the NBA Finals, other players have a chance to step into the spotlight—enter the Miami Heat’s Rashard Lewis.
“I always was prepared and ready. I didn’t know when it would come,” said Heat player Lewis. “You know I think I’m prepared because Coach Spoelstra played me in the first two rounds of the playoffs. I didn’t play in the first two versus Indiana but played the rest of the series and that helps.”READ MORE: Celtics torch Heat early, even series with 102-82 blowout
Fellow teammates are impressed with Lewis’s professionalism. The 16-year veteran has patiently waited for his opportunity.
“We’re not going to ask Rashard to reinvent the wheel, we’re just asking him to knock down open shots and make plays and be reliable on defense,” said Chris Bosh.
LeBron James describes his teammate as a “huge boost defensively,” adding, “Offensively his ability to make shots helps us tremendously.”
“That’s what Rashard does,” said Mario Chalmers. Rashard Lewis is a quiet assassin. For someone who’s been kept quiet on this team the last two years, every time we call his number he’s always ready.”READ MORE: Miami Beach’s Deauville Hotel, made famous by the Beatles, poised for a comeback
Sitting on the bench for about a quarter of the season wasn’t easy for Lewis who was used to being a full-timer in the past.
“This time around I’m more of a role player,” said Lewis. “When I was in Orlando, the main focal points were me, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo Turkoglu. But this time around, I’m just doing whatever it takes to win—if that’s rebounding, defending, boxing out, then knocking down open shots.”
As for that somewhat odd looking shot, Lewis said, “I shoot the ball high, but as long as it goes through the net, I don’t care if I’m kicking it as long as it goes through the rim. If I kick the ball and it goes through the net, I’m going to keep kicking it. I’m not going to change it.”
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