ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Hedo Turkoglu has always been popular in
Turkey. He is the first from his country to play in the NBA, a
signing that brought a national celebration.
But that was just a warmup. Turkoglu is in his eighth season in
the league, and the 6-foot-10 forward is a big reason why the
Orlando Magic have become one of the Eastern Conference's top team.
This has not gone unnoticed in Turkey.
Turkoglu is averaging 19.5 points, second on the team behind
All-Star Dwight Howard. His scoring is up from his roughly 14-point
average in three years with Orlando.
Perhaps more important, his other stats are up, too. He's
averaging 6.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists, and this month he had his
Turkoglu, who played with Sacramento and San Antonio before
joining Orlando in 2004, has thrived with the addition of Rashard
Lewis and subtraction of Grant Hill. Last year, as Van Gundy notes,
the Magic had the ball in Hill's hands as much as anyone but the