Taking a look at Hedo Turkoglu's stats over his nine season career, one would agree that this athlete is just a mediocre player in the NBA, averaging just 12.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, and shooting 42.8 percent from the field.
If you took a look at his last two seasons on the Orlando Magic however, you would debate whether or not this player is an All-Star.
During the '07'-'08 NBA Season, Stan Van Gundy became the head-coach for the Orlando Magic. In this season, Turkoglu averaged career-highs in PPG (19.5), RPG (5.7), APG (5.0), FG percentage (45.6 percent), and MPG (36.9). He also shot an outstanding 40 percent from the three-point line and 82.9 percent from the charity stripe.
Turk has become the go-to-guy for the Magic, hitting crucial game winning shots, helping the Magic secure first place in the Southeast Division, and ending the season with the third best record in the Eastern Conference (52-30).
Turkoglu was awarded the Most Improved Player of the Year Award, and rightfully so.
Before the start of the '08-'09 NBA season many people questioned whether or not Turkoglu would be able to perform at such an elite level as he did in the previous season.
Hedo did not disappoint. He remained the go-to-guy throughout the entire season, ending the year averaging 16.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, and 36.6 MPG.
Along with Dwight Howard and the stellar coaching of Stan Van Gundy, Turkoglu brought the Orlando Magic from having absolutely no respect and publicity throughout the year, to becoming one of the best teams in the entire NBA as of today.
Orlando finished this season with a record of 59-23, the fourth best record in the NBA, and tied for second best road record in the league with a record of 27-14.
Throughout the playoffs thus far, Turkoglu has continued to carry Orlando on his back. He has become one of most clutch players in the fourth quarter (a.k.a "Turk Time"), nailing a three-point game-winning buzzer beater in the first round of the playoffs, and other various jumpers to increase his teams chances of winning games.
Looking back at Turk's stats from his first seven seasons in the league, one real question remains: why was Turkoglu not utilized for the prime-time potential that Stan Van Gundy has brought out of him during the last two seasons?
Does this make Turk an outstanding athlete or is he just in a well coached system where he has the ability to show his real abilities?
Regardless of what people say about Stan Van Gundy, he has done nothing but good for the Orlando Magic. He has brought them to the Eastern Conference Finals, and most of all, he has made Hedo Turkoglu who he is today.
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