Jon Sunvold: B+
While the Sonics were stumbling out of the gates, Rashard was tearing up the league, looking like a second time all-star, causing even some of us to consider him more valuable than Ray Allen. The struggles of the team, however, seemed to wear on him and it by the time of the All-Star break he lost some of that dynamic edge that made him seemingly unstoppable early on.
One clearly has to mark his season as a success; but improvement in the same set of areas still remain.
2) Offense, staying present in the second half once the defense has focused on him
3) Ball handling
It should be said in Rashard's defense that both his ball handling and defense have improved. Regarding his ball handling, we can now count on him faking the jumpshot and driving to the basket with one or two dribbles (any more than 2 and he turns it over).
Defensively, he appeared to make nice strides last year but he seemed to regress this year. I nevertheless mark defense as an improvement overall because we know he has it in him to exert himself.
Rashard really seemed to lose focus towards the end of the season. He showed me he might be better as a third option type with Ray and a post presence.
Sonics Man: C+
Lewis looked like a #1 option to start the year. At some point, he seemed to give up on the season. He may be a player who concentrates too much on what he's going to do next year.
Mr. Baker: B-
Was he a good Team Captain, did he show leadership? He showed entitlement based on the second half of
last season. His defense has improved a little. His offense has improved every year but his rebounding needs to improve.
Brian Robinson: B
He started the season displaying A ability but ended it displaying C attitude. I'm not sure what he is right now. He gave up in a lot of ways. I could see them trying to move him, either with our pick in a big deal for a guy like Jermaine O'Neal, or for a more defensive minded player like Corey Maggette. I have this crazy theory that the Vladi trade will teach the Clips the value of a forward who can shoot the deep shot, but they won't be willing to pay to keep him. Then they'll trade for Rashard to fill the other forward slot next to Elton Brand.
Rashard had a strong start to the season on offense as the team's only post threat early in the season. After the coaching change his game seemingly became more perimeter oriented. The Sonics still need him in the lineup as Chris Wilcox isn't a classic back to the basket post up guy. I can't grade him higher than a C+ because 1) the team only won 35 games with him as co-captain and 2) I too do not feel that Rashard always shows leadership on both ends of the floor. Bob Hill even said this year that Rashard's playing to 65% of his talent. Next year is his option year so perhaps we'll see what a motivated Rashard Lewis can do.
CUMULATIVE GRADE : B-