Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Disastrous Turkoglu Tourney

I'm going to be subtle when I say this... Hedo was bad in Slovenia last week. I'm holding back on that vanilla statement. Those who watched had to endure through 2 of the most gruesome performances that can't be erased from memory. Turkey lost all 3 of those matches Hedo was on the court. Remember, I had this team winning a medal so it's not all on Hedo. Bogdan Tanjevic should be canned. So the fact that Turkey got eliminated in the first round robin stage doesn't fall entirely on Hedo. How bad was it witnessing Hedo struggle? Turkey didn't even let the 34-year-old play in the final two matches of their dismal Group D debacle. At least they won one contest with Hedo benched.

Those Finland and Greece matches were terrifying if you're a Hedo supporter. For what very well may be Hedo's final national team assignment, in almost two decades worth of service, Turkoglu's statistical averages are somehow better than how he really performed on the court:

Hedo couldn't even get it done at the free throw line. And oh goodness that 17.9 FG%. Turkoglu has never been one to lose confidence during a bad shooting stretch. But after that second defeat to Italy, Hedo was demoralized damn near close to depression levels. In hindsight, Hedo would have been better off just chucking up 3-pointers.

Sidenote: Props to Finland for taking second in Group D and to Italy for sitting on top. No one could envision those scenarios playing out before September. So surprised am I that my Greeks will have to catch fire if they wish to reach the knockout stage. Getting back on topic...

Now comes the fun waiting game. Do we see Hedo at Orlando Magic Media Day on September 30th? Will Rob Hennigan have bought Turk out before then? I'll tell you now, there's no way anything positive can be taken out of Hedo's performance except maybe that Hedo can still provide some solid passing. That's clearly not enough to warrant being on any NBA roster. Not when defense (which was always mediocre) and now shooting have fallen by the way side. For Turkoglu's sake, I hope none of those Turkish team offers have been rescinded. He's still a man beloved by his country and holds that experience that can mentor talented youth. It's impossible not to love the guy and what he's done through his solid international and NBA career, but Hedo's days of balling on American soil are over. Not unless there's a franchise that needs extra assistance in tanking.

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