As we've talked about before, Rashard Lewis'(notes) play in the Eastern Conference finals has been abysmal. After scoring a total of 15 points in the first three games in the series, Lewis bounced back with a whopping 13 in the Magci's Game 4 win. It's almost like him playing like a real NBA basketball player is advantageous to his team.
A lot of Orlando fans — and every one of the team's head coaches — have been pretty sick about Lewis' play, and truthfully, it's been quite nauseating. It's almost like his diseased play has infected the Magic, as they've looked under the weather for most of the series. Turns out that's kind of been the case, as Lewis revealed today that he's been playing through a viral infection this entire series. From the Associated Press:
Lewis says he's been sick the "whole series" against the Boston Celtics.
"Overall it effects you," he said after Orlando's shootaround Wednesday. "I've been throwing up. I haven't been at full strength. I've been feeling weak, my legs been feeling weak. I find myself getting tired very fast in the first quarter. You know, when you can't hold food down you have no energy in your body to go out there and perform."
Yeah, puking all over the place isn't the best preparation for a playoff series against a peaking veteran team. I can see how that might affect one's performance in a basketball game. Furthermore, that goatee probably smells terrible after a week of sickness. Yucky.
While Lewis says that he's not trying to make excuses, he also says that if this weren't the playoffs he "probably would have sat out." Technically not an excuse, but almost. In fact, it kind of puts the onus on Stan Van Gundy to sit Lewis on the bench, which deflects the blame away from Lewis.
However, it's commendable that Lewis is playing through a sickness, even if he's hurting the team. Even better, depending on the infection, he could spread his illness to the Celtics. With their old immune systems, a simple bug could spread throughout the locker room like in the movie "Outbreak," and in the process knock out all the over-30 players on the Boston roster. Take those guys away and Nate Robinson(notes) and Shelden Williams(notes) are seeing big minutes, which is a definite Orlando advantage. Well played, Typhoid Rashard. Very sneaky.