What does Hedo Turkoglu do last night? Yes, he made the final two free throws to allow the Raptors to beat the Lakers. And this coming off the heels of our man Madison writing about how Vince Carter is a pussy. Well, I’m gonna have to agree with that. Now I’m not necessarily saying that Vince Carter makes teams worse. Let us not make that mistake.
But I’m not saying he makes teams better either. Think about it. In Vince’s early days the Raptors were not that bad a team. In fact they made the playoffs a few times until Carter decided and admittedly wasn’t trying anymore. I’m also convinced that a young Tracy McGrady was more of the reason why the Raptors were good. Although Carter was WAY tougher back then.
But don’t forget kids. The Nets made the finals without Carter and didn’t fare too well in the playoffs WITH Carter. It was really in these seasons that Carter started wussing out a bit. Much more outside shooting and clearly not the kind of player that could really take over a game. McGrady had that once. I don’t know if Carter ever did. Sure he can light up the stat sheet and dunk over 7 footers but that doesn’t win a championship.
Hedo Turkoglu on the other hand. The Magic kept getting better and better with this guy on the team. He’s 6’9-6’10, is a great ball handler, shoots the three and is an excellent passer for a big man. But more importantly, he’s a difference maker. People might say the emergence of Dwight Howard is the reason the Magic became very good. And granted I agree. However, I think it’s the fact that Turkoglu was finally allowed to work better on the court with a solid big man around.
No, Turkoglu can’t be a one man guy (which I don’t think Carter can) but surround him with good tools, and watch what happens. Case in point? Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors are going to make the playoffs this year. And don’t be surprised if they wind up making it past the first round.
And don’t be surprised if Hedo is the one making the headlines when it happens. The Magic? The Magic don’t have a prayer and aren’t nearly as good as they were last year. Sure they have a decent record but the East sucks and they’d get schooled by the West this year. At least that’s what I think.