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The Lakers bullied and bruised the Magic’s front line in the NBA finals in 2009, and Boston did the same in the Eastern Conference finals last season. The Celtics went as far as face-guarding Lewis with Garnett and forcing Orlando to play without him.

“It was frustrating more than anything. He pretty much shadowed me everywhere I went on the court,” Lewis said. “They did a great job. They’re a great defensive team, and they took me out of that series.”

So for now, the Magic are mixing it up.

With Lewis at his natural position, Orlando would likely put Brandon Bass at power forward _ as it did during the portion of Tuesday’s scrimmage open to reporters _ to give Howard another big body inside. Van Gundy also is exploring other lineups he has only used on occasion, such as playing backup center Marcin Gortat alongside Howard or Vince Carter with fellow shooting guard J.J. Redick.

“Why not?” Carter said. “This is the time to really figure it out. Once it gets to the real deal, you kind of have an idea of the direction you want to go against particular teams. So we mine as well be prepared for it and be ready when it gets here.”

At the very least, the idea is to add another element besides Orlando’s shoot-every-outside-shot strategy.

The Magic believe Lewis gives them an advantage posting up, a move that works even better against undersized small forwards. The biggest factor in whether they make the move permanent for the regular season, Van Gundy said, will be if Lewis can be effective defensively against quicker players.

“It’s a different set of expectations,” Van Gundy said. “But we’re going to give him a lot of time there.”