Miami Heat bringing Rashard Lewis along slowly

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We should all be careful trying to read too much into preseason stats, but so far both watching him and looking at the numbers, Rashard Lewis has looked rusty for the Heat. He has hit 4-of-13 shots overall, 2-of-6 from three.

Some rust is to be expected, knee injuries and circumstance have left Lewis playing spottily the past three seasons — he has been in just 85 games total the past three seasons.

So the Heat are not worried about the preseason numbers, they want to go slow. That’s what coach Erik Spoelstra told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“Rashard Lewis is coming back from an injury situation where he’s been out effectively almost two straight years,” he said. “There will be an adjustment period. He’s simply thrilled and we’re thrilled that he’s out here healthy, and we’ll commit to the process.

“It may take a little bit of time for him to get his rhythm back, but I think he’ll fully be able to play at an efficiency that he played two years ago when he was in Orlando and healthy.”

If Lewis can get healthy and get anywhere near his old form, he is the kind of stretch four that are going to make the Heat such a challenge to defend. They have LeBron James who can post up or slash into the paint and is a more-than-willing passer, they have Dwyane Wade who loves to drive and dish, and they have guards like Mario Chalmers who can find him as he stretches the floor.

But the Heat have been looking for guys to do that for them for a couple seasons now and only got it in spots. They added Lewis and Ray Allen to give them some depth in the stretch the floor role, but both are having to adjust a little. Which is both expected and what preseason is for.

Things just can’t go as slowly once the games matter.