Friday, September 2, 2011

Three Days into EuroBasket - Let's Analyze Hedo Turkoglu

This is an Orlando Magic blog after all. I would be wasting my EuroBasket 2011 analysis if I didn't care about the team's Turkish forward who needs to bounce back this upcoming season (whenever that may be). You can follow Hedo's stats here. Turkoglu has been starting every game at small forward as you'd expect. Let's see how he's done in Group A play so far.

Looking at Turkey's first game, a cakewalk versus Portugal, Hedo Turkoglu played a big role in the victory. Hedo shot a very solid 50% from the field and put up a game-high of 14 points along with teammate Enes Kanter.

It didn't get much difficult on Day 2 against Great Britain. Even with Luol Deng, they crushed the Brits by 29 points. Hedo only played 16 minutes and put up 7 points. Not much to really go off on as the game was decided by halftime. The highlights indicate Hedo's little playing time. Here are all of Turkey's field goals from that blowout, if you care to view them.

I am a little concerned to see Hedo wearing knee pads/wraps on both knees. He's been doing it all summer it seems like. However, it hasn't really taken away from his sudden speed bursts (which are few and far between anyway). It's not like he's digging down deep to play defense or cut to the hole ever. 

Day 3 is the game to really check out though as Turkey definitely were in their most difficult game to date, going up against the hosts Lithuania. At halftime, Magic fans wouldn't be shocked to know that Hedo had 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Hedo played 27 minutes total.

I'm sure you're not surprised either to know his second half was better. Turkey Dance finished with 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists. However, Lithuania won thanks in large part to their rabid fans cheering on their nation. Home fans are usually the tiebreaker in an even matchup which this was.

What's a bit alarming though is that Hedo didn't get the ball in crunch time. Yeah he was a terrible 2-of-7 from the field, but he's still the guy you depend on to go into 'hero mode'. Instead, the ball went to guys like Ender Arslan and Emir Preldzic who in my eyes are not as qualified for clutch situations as #15. Still a very entertaining 4th quarter to watch.

After 3 games, Hedo is averaging 10 ppg, 2.3 rpg, and 2.7 apg in 20.7 minutes per game of action. It's not good to see anyone shoot more 3s than 2s, especially when you're shooting a low percentage, but that's what Hedo's doing. 41.7% total field goal percentage and 26.7% from downtown. 

Let's do a bit of a comparison. In the World Championships last year (hosted by Turkey and when Turkoglu was in worse shape) Hedo averaged 12.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 3.4 apg on their way to title game where they ended up with silver (Team USA took gold). Hedo made the All-Tournament Team. 

Turkey is currently 2-1 going into a break tomorrow before 2 more games against Poland and Spain. A 3-2 record ought to be enough to progress out of Group A and into the second group stage of Group E (and then the knockout stage comes).

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