Hedo Turkoglu's shooting woes continue, but Turkey still slides past Greece to remain undefeated

For all the excitement that Hedo Turkoglu expressed about representing his country at the FIBA World Championship this year, he sure hasn’t played like it through three games.

Although Turkoglu helped keep host country Turkey undefeated with a 76-65 victory over Greece on Tuesday, he struggled with his shot once again, nailing only two of his 12 shot attempts and tallying only eight points in a game-high 33 minutes.

The 6-foot-10 forward chipped in with six rebounds, three assists and two steals, but is shooting 8-for-34 (23.5 percent) from the field and 4-for-20 (20 percent) from long range after three games.

A lot of his misses came late in the game with Turkey up double digits, as Turkoglu went 1-for-6 in the final 5:42. And the fact that he’s led his squad to an undefeated record thus far means he’s doing something right. The victory also allowed Turkey to jump ahead of Greece into sole possession of first place in the Group C standings.

But the fact is, Turkoglu is still shooting 23.5 percent against mostly non-NBA talent and hasn’t looked like he’s in the greatest shape in the world. Suns fans should hope this isn’t the Hedo they’ll be getting come Oct. 26 when the 2010-11 season tips off.

Up next: After a day off Tuesday, Goran Dragic and Slovenia (2-1) will take on Leandro Barbosa and Brazil (2-1) at 11:30 a.m. MST on Wednesday. Turkoglu will have a chance to bounce back from his tough first three games when Turkey (3-1) takes on Puerto Rico (1-2) at 11.

Tags: FIBA World Championship Hedo Turkoglu Turkey

  • AL

    I am scared for Phoenix right now. Lance should be making a back up plan in case the Hedo Experiment doesn’t work out. (By the looks of it, it won’t)

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  • KJ Loyalist

    but Kyle, in the case of Barbosa, that was the team failing him, not him failing the team.

    Barbosa was designed, crafted, and pushed off the assembly line to score the ball. I never understood why MD kept trying to turn him into a distributor.

    You know, if they would've just given up on that after his 6th man of the year season, he would've probably eradicated the league as a pure scoring threat in the Suns' system.

    If Toronto is smart, they'll tell him: "You – The Basket – Make Love to it as you see fit."

    He could easily blast away for 20+ PPG up there, (and in the east).

    Hedo – I'm not going to look at these world championships too much. I just hope that when they're over he is flying to PHX, getting in contact with the Warlocks, getting in the best shape possible, and is ready come the regular season.

    As far as Dragic goes…

    He is the Dragon.

    No living being should doubt the Dragon. The young slovenian apprentice is progressing at an alarming rate. Nash will be able to rest a lot this year because Dragic will make it possible.

  • Kyle Fleeger

    Steve Nash will play out his contract and retire to his multiple companies and investment in the Tottenham Spurs. I hope he plays for them. Haha. Anyway,

    KJ Loyalist – I agree that Leandro was incorrectly asked to become a distributor. I was just commenting that he has never had the patience to run an offense.

    He began to fail the team when he got injured and never got his shot back. But I agree with you, I think he will be back to his pre-injury/death of his mother days. I think the reconnection with Bryan Colangelo might be good for him as well. He knows how temperamental Leandro's performance is.

    Anyway, Go Goran in the battle with Leandro right now. I bet Goran has the better line.

    Go Slovenia

  • Zak

    I’m not too concerned at the moment. Hedo isn’t lighting up the scoreboard but he is leading the Turkish team in assists and steals and he’s still the #3 scorer behind the younger Ilyasova and Asik and is their 4th leading rebounder. He’s never been counted on to be the primary scorer in the NBA and from what I’ve read I believe his primary role on this team is to be a facilitator rather than a scorer which he seems to be doing pretty well. Of course I hoe his shooting improves before the season starts but I’m not ready to throw in the towel on Hedo just yet.

  • aditya

    As a Raptor fan, I feel confident in saying that this is the exact Hedo Turkoglu you will be getting. Enjoy watching him haul his selfish, fat ass down the court for another 4 years.

  • Zak

    Bugger off Zack/aditya.

  • Kyle Fleeger

    I always hope that Hedo doesn’t do anything crazy… then I watched a Turkey team up by 9-11 points consistently let Hedo hoist up 3-pointer after 3-pointer. This was not the most stunning piece of basketball strategy I have seen.

    Hedo is shooting awful… but he only took 2 FGA’s in this game from INSIDE the 3-point line. It’s a long summer, he will turn it around. At least 45% not 25%, please Hedo.

    Hedo is doing exactly what WE need Hedo to do. He is being a distributor. He is going to have to play a dual role of knock down shooter when in with Steve, and Play-making passer when Steve can’t be in. This fills a huge hole the Suns have had for 5 years, who will pass the ball to players when Steve Nash is out… Goran and Leandro proved to be too wild with the ball and unreliable, although Goran is bound to drop that label by the end of this season.

    Go Hedo,
    Go Goran today!

    Go Suns

  • AL

    Dragic is going to be deserving a hefty contract in a year. (7 million per year?) I wonder if Steve is going to take a lesser contract after his new 2 year deal expires. (Same goes for J Rich)

  • Mel.

    Funny thing is, even with a sluggish, sub-par Hedo, we're still likely to keep crashing the playoffs.

    Can't say the same for the Raptors. How's the draft looking for next year?

  • Zack

    As a Raptor fan, I feel confident in saying that this is the exact Hedo Turkoglu you will be getting. Enjoy watching him haul his selfish, fat ass down the court for another 4 years.