NBA Playoffs – What’s Wrong With Hedo?

The Orlando Magic have found themselves in a 3-1 hole against the Atlanta Hawks – a team Orlando swept in record-setting fashion last year, blowing out the Hawks in three of the four games. This year, Orlando finds themselves on the brink of elimination and if it wasn’t for Dwight Howard’s dominant presences to keep the Magic in the game, the Magic would be the ones getting blown away.

Atlanta hasn’t played spectacularly, though. In game 4 of the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs, being ahead for over 90% of the game, the Hawks would shoot themselves in the foot of just closing the doors in the third quarter. The Hawks would go up by a couple of possessions, but once Orlando shot and missed three-pointer after three-pointer, the Hawks would do the same and settle for jump-shots with half of the shot clock left.

The Hawks still went on to win the game, thanks to the spectacular performance off of the bench by Jamal Crawford, who has just been the dagger in the Magic’s heart, scoring 20+ in each game of the playoffs – the first player off of the bench to do so since Kevin McHale.

Nonetheless, Atlanta finds itself up 3-1 because of Orlando’s inconsistency, which they’ve experienced all season.
A major factor of inconsistency for the Magic: Hedo Turkoglu.

Turkoglu has shot a dismal 22.9% from the field in the playoffs – which looks better than his 13% from behind the arc – and is averaging just 7.75 ppg.

In the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Turkoglu was phenomenal for the Magic, which eventually led to his major deal with the Toronto Raptors the following offseason. Turkoglu shot 42.7% from the field and 38.6% from the arc during the 2009 playoffs, and led Orlando to the Finals where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

What has happened to Hedo? Two years removed from being a rising star, Turkoglu was the talk of the 2009 offseason and where he would sign. He signed a $53 million contract with the Raptors, but after once mediocre season, he was dished to the Phoenix Suns.

Turkoglu has been in the league for 10 years now and makes an undeserving $9.8 million. He has proven he no longer is the player he was two years ago, and after an atrocious game four – where he missed a game-tying three after missing five previous three-point attempts – Magic General Manager Otis Smith must be pondering what to do with Hedo’s monstrous contract and sub-par play.

The Magic look to dig themselves out of a huge hole beginning at home on Tuesday, April 26, and look to overcome a huge deficit in a series where nearly every expert’s pick had the Magic winning in 5 or 6 games.

2 Responses to “NBA Playoffs – What’s Wrong With Hedo?”
  1. D.B. says:

    I think that the entire Magic supporting cast has been lacking this post season, not just Hedo. Otis really hasn’t put together a great combination of players, they are all basically shooters and in this series they can’t find the basket. Hopefully 3-1 down is a big enough wake up call for them to start playing, it would be a shame to see Dwight exit this early.

    • afstillings says:

      I agree. Jameer showed up for game 1, but has been virtually nonexistent since. Jason Richardson has played decent, and Q-Rich has been a pleasant surprise in his limited playing time. Arenas showed up for game 4, but it wasn’t enough because everybody else except Dwight was sleeping and jacking-up terribly timed shots.

      JJ Redick is playing with a sore abdomen, but if he’s hurt and not producing, why is Stan playing him?

      As a Magic fan, this is a nightmare of a playoff series after success the past 3 years.

      We’ll see how things go tonight, thanks for reading!

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