Despite a recent cold spell, the revival continues in Orlando, where the Magic sit atop the Southeast Division at 21-11. This off-season, it was the signing of talented free agent Rashard Lewis that got all the pub in Orlando, and Lewis has certainly done his part to make this team successful thus far, averaging 18.4 points and 5.5 boards on 43.4 percent shooting from the field. He will only continue to get better as he grows older and more comfortable with his surroundings in Orlando. Yet it is still the Magic's other 6-foot-10 swingman who has stolen the show thus far this season.
Before this year, Hedo Turkoglu had never averaged so many as 15 points per game over any of his seven prior NBA seasons. He had always been a decent role player but never a leader.
As of this second, however, that simply isn't the case in Orlando. Because Hedo Turkoglu is leading by example for his young Magic teammates.
Playing more minutes than ever before (37.7 per game), Turkoglu has upped his production to 19.4 points, 4.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game, all of which are currently career highs. Mostly, however, the man is a case study in doing the right things and having that approach pay off.
Turkoglu has a beautiful shot. He can shoot it with his feet set, off one foot, or on the run. It has a high arc, and his wrist always snaps with perfect form on each one of his shots. This season, Turkoglu has capitalized on the fact that is playing with a newly annointed interior force in Dwight Howard and a slashing perimeter presence in Rashard Lewis. Both of those two players draw a lot of attention from opposing defenses, and this has routinely left Turkoglu open for mid-range and deep jumpers, many of which he has knocked down with ease.
He plays a smart game offensively, shooting when he gets a good look and almost always following his shots. It is no surprise that Turkoglu averages 1.2 offensive rebounds per game, and he often winds up putting those extra chances to good use. He cuts well to the basket and can can get to the foul line when necessary, where he is shooting 82 percent from the season.
Throughout the early portion of this season, Hedo Turkoglu has done much right, as he has let the game come to him and rarely forced shots. He understands the personnel of his team and how to use it both to his advantage and to that of his 'mates. Thus far, it is hard to argue with the results.