Not many hoops have come this easily for Dwight Howard and the Magic recently.
The Orlando Magic have lost five of their last six games, and their offensive woes include point totals of 56, 67 and 69 in three of those losses.
What has gone wrong for the Magic offensively? Let’s take a closer look at two aspects of their game using our video review tools, ones similar to those used by NBA teams.
Orlando's offense has missed opportunities inside during the six-game stretch, shooting 49 percent from inside five feet.
This is something the Magic did very well last season. They made nearly 64 percent of their attempts from inside five feet, which ranked fifth in the NBA. They were hovering around 60 percent for this season prior to this slump.
This is something that has been an issue for Ryan Anderson, Glen Davis and even Dwight Howard. Anderson and Davis are making barely 50 percent of their shots from this close, putting them near the bottom of the league rankings.
Howard, who ranked sixth in the league last season making 72 percent of his shots from inside five feet, has hit just 60 percent this season.
The Magic are averaging more than 19 turnovers in their last six games, compared to 14.0 turnovers in their first 15 games. They also have gone cold on three-point attempts. Orlando's gone from shooting 40 percent from long range in their first 15 games to making around one-third of its attempts in this 1-5 stretch.
Orlando Magic Pick-and-Roll Offense
This Season, Including Passes
There is a connection between this ineffectiveness and the issues with the Orlando pick-and-roll offense, something on which the Magic rely heavily.
The performance difference can be seen in the chart on the right.
The Magic have run the seventh-most pick-and-roll plays this season (which includes shots resulting from passes off a pick-and-roll).
Orlando is shooting just 32 percent on three-point attempts off of pick-and-roll plays over the last six games, compared with 41 percent in its first 15. But the Magic now are committing turnovers on these plays nearly twice as often, not giving themselves the best chance to score.
Tonight the Magic host the Washington Wizards, who don't rate well at forcing turnovers on pick-and-roll plays (only one team generates them less often when defending the ballhandler), so the Magic should be able to get their shots off those plays. If those shots don't fall against a 4-17 opponent at home, it's a sign of just how far the Magic have fallen this season.