26. January 2011 00:46
It's been fairly well publicized that the Orlando Magic are playing better team basketball since the return of Hedo Turkoglu (the straw that stirs the Raki). Orlando is 13-6 since the acquisition that came after a 1-6 stretch. What's amazing is how well correlated their results are to Hedo's field goal production.
In this past Monday's surprising 103-96 home loss to Detroit (a team Orlando should be able to beat in its sleep), Turkoglu made only two baskets. That's the fifth time since returning that he's made two or less. Orlando's record in those five games? 0-5.
Turkoglu has made three shots from the field or more in his 14 other games in a Magic uniform this year. Orlando's record in those 14 games? 13-1!
Life is never this simple. So, opposing defense can't just focus on Turkoglu and hope to put that 18-1 tendency in their favor. Still, it does tell you what a linchpin player he's been since his return. Orlando is surprisingly mortal when he's not contributing to the scoring load and jus focusing on passing the ball. They're very difficult to beat when he is.
Hedo or He-doesn't
13 Orlando wins: 5-6-8-3-6-3-5-6-5-3-5-3-8 made baskets
6 Orlando losses: 1-2-2-2-4-2 made baskets
Orlando visits Indiana Wednesday Night in a bounce-back spot off the loss to Detroit. That's followed by a Friday Night visit to Chicago. A game that should have a playoff feel to it because the handful of the true contenders in the East have met up so rarely thus far. It will be very interesting to see what the Chicago defense will have in mind for the inside-outside attack of the Orlando offense.