Why is Gilbert Arenas struggling? Because it’s cold outside.

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You know what was wrong with Gilbert Arenas Sunday? Why he was limping around and shooting 0-7 from the floor in Orlando’s loss to Boston?

It was cold outside, he told CBSSports’ Ken Berger.

“Cities that are high on the map, I have trouble with,” Arenas said. “Like (Boston) during the winter. But as soon as February shows up – that’s why they call me Mr. February, because I’ll be dunking and jumping around in practice. I’m glad we’re about to have a month basically at home so I can just get my rhythm and be in the warm weather where my knee is going to feel a lot better. It’s like day and night. It’s weird.”

Asked when it will feel better, Arenas said, “As soon as we land in Orlando. When it’s cold, the coldness swells in my joints and puts moisture in my joints and that’s what makes it stiff. So once I get to a warm city, or any city that has high humidity, I’m fine.”

So just like your grandmother, Arenas can tell you when it’s going to rain due to his pain. Or, you can just watch him play and tell what the weather is like outside.

Of course, the weather outside may have less to do with it than Arenas’ mental adjustments. Arenas is clearly still struggling to fit in with the Magic offense — for years he had a green light in every situation, now he has to feed others, to pick his spots to shoot and attack. He has to fit in a system, not have the system fit to him. The result is he has averaged 7.7 points per game on 35 percent shooting in his last 10, and he is shooting 20 percent from three in that stretch.

He said as much to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“I’m going to shoot and if I see somebody I’ll pass it. That’s how I used to be. When you’re a scorer, and you’re thinking about scoring, everything comes easy. It’s just … weird. I catch myself not being aggressive, and when I do turn it on, I don’t have a rhythm.

“When I’m alone shooting, I feel like I can’t be beat. That’s how I shoot. But in a game, I’m so worried about missing shots, that’s what I end up doing.”

Arenas has to accept that the days he can get in a shootout with Kobe Bryant are over. He’s a backup point guard and while the Magic want scoring from him they need him to fit in the system more. He has to adjust his game.

Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson have worked out well for the Magic out of their big in-season moves. But Arenas is the big, dangerous contract in that mix. If he doesn’t work out he could be the anchor on the Magic’s ability to win a title because that $63 million he is owed over the next three seasons after this makes it hard to get anything else done. And if they can’t win a title by the time Dwight Howard can become a free agent in a couple years… let’s not go there yet. We’re a long way from that.

But know that Arenas working out for the Magic matters. A lot.

Joel Embiid frustrated, wants more post touches, to play back-to-backs

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Joel Embiid remains a frustrated man.

He wants to be unleashed on the NBA, and he feels he’s being held back.

Part of that is not playing in back-to-backs — Embiid started Friday night against Boston but will sit out by plan Saturday night against the Raptors in Toronto. Embiid knows the plan to help protect a body that has played only 31 games in three seasons before this one and was not cleared for most of training camp, but that doesn’t mean he likes it, as he told Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“I just want to feel like an NBA player,” Embiid said.  “I feel like I’m not an NBA player because I can’t play back-to-back.”

I get his frustration, but can you blame the Sixers for treating the guy like he’s made of glass at this point? Hopefully, later in the season, he can be cleared to play on both ends.

His second frustration came from the loss to the Cavaliers on Friday — he wants more post touches. In the video above he is clear, “I didn’t get the ball enough in the post.”

He’s right here. Embiid had three post-ups all game, one in each of the game’s first three quarters (stat via Synergy Sports). Embiid is efficient in the post — he has shot 9-of-12 on those plays overall this season and the Sixers score 1.33 points per possession when he does. Especially against a team going small — the Cavaliers start Kevin Love at center — Embiid should be fed down low.

Instead, look at his shot chart from Friday night.

Part of this is on him with all the threes, but they have to utilize him better. It’s part of the Sixers growing pains that will come this season.

Nets’ national anthem singer kneels to finish performance

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NEW YORK (AP)—  The national anthem singer at the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener took a knee at the end of her performance.

Justine Skye was nearing the completion of the song Friday night when she went to one knee for the finish. There were some cheers, but appeared to be more boos from the crowd at Barclays Center to see the Nets play the Orlando Magic.

NBA players have continued to stand during the playing of the anthems, as required by league rule.

Mavericks’ rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. misses game with knee swelling

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DALLAS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings with swelling in his left knee.

Smith, the ninth pick in the NBA draft out of North Carolina State, had 16 points and 10 assists in the Mavericks’ season-opening loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

Smith participated in the Mavericks’ shootaround on Friday morning and was a late scratch. It is not known if Smith will play Saturday for Dallas.

The Mavericks were also missing guard Devin Harris, who was granted leave of absence after his brother died on Thursday.

Watch Lonzo Ball’s 29 point, 11 rebound, 9 assist game Friday night

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This was more of what fans expected from Lonzo Ball.

After a rough first game against the Clippers — with Patrick Beverley in his face all night — Ball found plenty of room to operate against the soft defense of the Phoenix Suns. With room to operate Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists — just one assist short of a triple-double. He helped the Lakers pull away to a lead in the third then hold on for a 132-130 win over the Suns.

Ball wasn’t terribly efficient, 12-of-27 shooting, but he was 4-of-9 from three, he played with great pace, he was decisive, and was finding guys with his passes. It was a step forward, even if it was against a sad defense (Eric Bledsoe can be a good defender, but he has seemed disinterested in recent years).

Ball and the Lakers are going to be up and down this season, the goal is for there to be more ups near the end of the season.