Hedo Turkoglu Deserves Credit For Orlando's Recent Play

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The Orlando Magic are now 7-3 over their last 10 games. Their first loss came in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors went an incredible 21-of-35 from beyond the arc and Orlando still had a shot to tie the game in overtime. Three days later, the Magic fell apart in the second half, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers 97-84. They fell to the New York Knicks in overtime Monday night but played just a seven-man rotation due to injury.

Losing to Golden State certainly isn’t a good thing but when Monta Ellis (7-of-9) and Dorell Wright (8-of-11) got a combined 15-of-20 (75.0%) from beyond the arc, you have to take your lumps. Orlando may be frustrated by the way they lost to the Lakers but clearly there is no shame in getting beat in the Staples Center (well, unless you’re playing the Clippers). They also gave a great effort against the Knicks but couldn’t overcome their injury problems.

There have been several reasons for Orlando’s recent success.

The first and most important reason is always Dwight Howard when it comes to the Magic.

Over the last 10 games, Howard is averaging 23.8 points, 17.2 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game.

Defensively, we know what Howard brings to the table but the rest of the team has stepped up and joined Howard as of late.

Outside of a bad first half against the Knicks back on March 23 and a couple of letdowns out west (Sacramento, Golden State), Orlando’s defense has been fantastic.

Dwight Howard dominating on both ends of the court and Orlando’s other players getting acclimated and buying into head coach Stan Van Gundy’s system is something that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The recent play of Hedo Turkoglu is surprising.

Although Turkoglu was told to be more aggressive and make better decisions since the day he returned to Orlando this “re-marriage” didn’t appear to be working out.

Turkoglu continued to pass up open shots, take poor shots (mostly long, contested jumpers) and make inexplicably poor decisions.

Recently, things have changed as you can see from the chart below.

First on the chart are Hedo Turkoglu’s 2010-11 season statistics. Below that is how Turkoglu has performed in his last 10 games.

PPG 3pt% eFG% RPG APG
10.6 42.1% 53.8% 4.3 4.3
15.8 50.0% 60.3% 4.6 5.4

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Tags: Dwight Howard Hedo Turkoglu Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks Orlando Magic Stan Van Gundy

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