FanPost

In defense of Hidayet Turkoglu

Turkoglu shot a terrible 41% for the season. In the playoffs, he had games where he went 2-8, 3-12, 3-14, 4-14, 3-13, 1-11, 3-12, and 3-11. He was torched for a buzzer beating jumper twice (once to a dreadful outside shooter in Andre Iguodala). He is pretty slow. He cannot finish strong. In fact, he has trouble finishing, period. He is slow to close out on shooters. He was schooled by Trevor Ariza in the final game of the 2009 NBA season. He is 30 years old. 

Yet, the Blazers should most definitely sign Hedo. 

1) Spacing: imagine LMA in the low block, with BRoy cutting, and Rudy and Turk on the wings, and Przy/GO on the weakside rebounding. LMA either gets single coverage or they leave Rudy or Turk alone for an open 3. 

2)Ball Movement: Trout/Blake are ball movement killers. Outlaw can get the ball to the basket but can't pass, Blake can pass, but can't get to the basket. You wind up with two guys who dribble a lot yet cannot create a shot for a teammate. There is a reason why all his teammates are pleading through the media to keep Turkoglu. He is great to play with. Lewis, Nelson, Pietrus, CLee, Reddick. All those shooters, and they all got shots. Turkoglu is great a reading the double-team out of the pick and roll, or simply swinging the ball. Rudy Fernandez and (potentially) Martell Webster would have a field day playing with Turkoglu. 

3)Winner: hands down the best game I saw all regular season was Orlando at Portland way back in December. What was crazy about that game was that the Blazers played simply awesome. But the Magic hit three 3's in the final 3 minutes after being down 8 to win. The last one, of course, was Turkoglu's shot that no doubt everyone on this site remembers like it was yesterday. Most people probably think it was lucky, but the truth is, great players get lucky shots to go in. Like LeBron in Game 2 of ECF, Roy vs. Rockets, Kobe vs. Blazers over Ratliff in 2004...... But just go to youtube and search for "Turkoglu game winner". The list is long; vs. the Celtics, the 76ers, the Sonics, the Bulls, the Blazers, the Pistons, the Wizards.

4)He is a well-respected veteran: with that, comes all the priviliges; you get to whine and complain to the officials, you get to clutch and grab on D, you get to push off to get open on O. 

5)Great Chemistry: The Orlando Magic were composed of "Superman" from Atlanta Dwight Howard, $18 million per from Houston Rashard Lewis, and Skip-to-My Lou from Brooklyn Alston/hard-ass from Philly Jameer Nelson. Yet, when the game is on the line, all the aforementioned players gave the ball to this unathletic, dorky looking man from Turkey and just waited for their chance to contribute. The reason is simple: Trust. They loved him. They loved playing with him. They loved going to war with them. In spite of all the bad shots and turnovers, they trusted him. They went to war with him. They knew that when the moment got tough he would not back down. It was a joy to see. 

6)He will be great for GO development: Turkoglu never shoots to get himself into a rhythm. He shoots to execute the play drawn up. Dwight Howard, a man with ZERO post moves, averaged 20 ppg. literally off offensive rebounds from Turkoglu's drives or Turkoglu swinging the ball after the pick and roll and Howard just planting himself in the paint waiting for the ball. 

Turkoglu has balls. Simple as that. This team has two guys with cojones like that: Broy and Przybilla; LMA shows signs, so does Rudy. GO needs to develop them. But, with Turkoglu on board, suddenly, in my eyes at least, the Blazers became the best team in the West.  

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