A shooting slump has mired Gilbert Arenas' play for the Orlando Magic in recent weeks. The veteran point guard missed all seven of his shot attempts in the Magic's loss to the Boston Celtics on Super Bowl Sunday, dropping his season-long field goal percentage to 37.8 and his conversion rate in January and February to 35 percent.
Arenas now has arthritis in his left knee, which has undergone three operations in the last three seasons, and has claimed numerous times recently that the cold weather robs him of his explosiveness and comfort. Maybe he's just making excuses, and maybe he'll never revert to the form which made him an All-Star three times over.
But Matt Moore of CBSSports' Eye On Basketball blog did some digging and found Arenas has struggled with his shot throughout his career--even before the knee injuries--in the cold-weather months of January and February. From Moore:
For his career, Arenas is a 42% shooter from the field and a 35% three-point shooter. But in January, Arenas shoots just 41% from the field and 31% from the arc. In February? 42% and 37%. Then in March? It jumps to 43% and 38%. His point totals drop, too.
Moore accompanies his post with a humorously illustrated graph charting Arenas' month-by-month career shooting and scoring splits. Perhaps his shooting this season will heat up along with the weather, which would be good news for the Magic, whose recent performance has raised serious questions about their legitimacy as NBA title contenders.