The Vince Carter vs. Hedo Turkoglu Debate

Brandon Ribak@reebokforthreeSenior Writer IJuly 16, 2009

As an Orlando Magic fan, I have decided to finally get into this extremely opinionated debate.

Ever since the trade went down this offseason, all I have heard from "other NBA fans" has been, "Oh, Vince Carter is past his prime, he is a downgrade from Hedo Turkoglu."

In addition others have made statements such as, "Hedo made that offense go and got everybody their touches, Carter is not the type of player to create for others like Hedo did."

Generally speaking, it seemed that overall, NBA fanatics are really against this trade.

Why? Well who knows why, because here is proof that Vince Carter is better than Hedo Turkoglu.

Since Carter has stepped foot onto the NBA court, he has never averaged under 18.3 PPG (except during the 2004-05 season when he played only 20 total games), three APG, 4.4 RPG, and one SPG.

In his career, he has averaged a phenomenal 23.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 4.3 APG, and 1.2 SPG, on 44.7 field-goal percentage, 37.6 three-point percentage, and 79.6 free-throw percentage.

Playing for two different teams throughout his career, Carter proved that regardless of which city he played in, he could play ball and at a supreme level.

Hedo Turkoglu's career NBA averages are 12.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.7 APG, and 0.8 SPG, on 42.8 percent field-goal percentage, 38.5 three-point percentage, and 80.1 free-throw percentage.

Turkoglu began his career playing for the Sacramento Kings for three seasons and then the San Antonio Spurs for another.

During that time he was nothing more than an under-utilized backup power forward who never played more than 26 minutes per game.

A player that is being compared to Carter's caliber would certainly have "great" enough talent to not be overlooked by Hall of Fame coaches like Rick Adelman and Gregg Popavich, now would he?

How come during Turkoglu's time spent on the Kings and Spurs' roster, he never got the opportunity to show his skills and emerge as a top player in the league?

The answer is because he never was and never will be the kind of player that you fans are seeking him out to be.

The only reason Turkoglu has become such an outstanding ball player is because of the system he has now played in for the last two seasons, which has been coached by Stan Van Gundy.

Just take a look. Check out Turk's three season stats before Van Gundy came.

When Van Gundy arrived as the new head coach for the Orlando Magic during the 2007-08 season, Turk went from averaging 13.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.2 APG (the season prior), to rising as the Most Improved Player of the Year, posting a career-high 19.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and five APG.

The following season, which was the 2008-09 NBA season, Turkoglu put up 16.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, and 4.9 APG. He played no short of spectacular throughout the entire playoffs and hit a few extremely clutch shots for the Magic.

But the truth does not lie, Turkoglu is not the same player when he is not in Stan Van Gundy's system of play, and that will be shown during next season.

Still think Turk is better than Carter?

In 75 fourth quarters last season, Carter shot better than 46 percent from the field and converted on 80.6 percent of his free throws. Turkoglu shot just under 38 percent in 101 fourth quarters last season and hit 79.6 percent of his free throws.

Some of the difference can be placed on the shooting style of the players. Carter takes higher-percentage shots, while Turkoglu likes the three-pointer.

• Turkoglu averaged 5.1 points in the fourth quarter, while Carter came in at 4.9 points, essentially a tie.

• But Turkoglu put up 29.6 percent of his total shots in that time, while Carter took only 20.2 percent of his shots.

• Turkoglu took 33.1 percent of his three-pointers in the fourth quarter and a high 38.9 percent of his free throws.

• But Turkoglu, whose three-point percentage was 36 for the game, only made 31 percent in the fourth. Carter hit 38 percent of his three-pointers in the fourth, which is about the same as his percentage for the game.

The proof is right there, Vince Carter scores his points consistantly throughout the entire game span, while even coming up huge for his team during the final quarter of the game.

Hedo Turkoglu shot nearly 30 percent of his total shots during the regular season in the fourth quarter, 33.1 percent of his total three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and almost 40 percent of his free-throws; proving that Turkoglu produced the majority of his statistics during only the fourth quarter of the game.

Even with all those stats, Carter still managed to average just .2 less PPG during the fourth quarter than Turkoglu.

Carter also proved statistically that he shot a much better shooting percentage from the field during the fourth quarter (46.0 percent), than Turkoglu (just under 38.0 percent).


Overview and Final Verdict

From all the information listed above, it's no doubt that Vince Carter is the better overall player when comparing the two.

He is a better shooter (statistically), he scores more PPG, grabs more RPG, dishes out more APG, steals more SPG, and is inevitably a much more consistent overall athlete than Hedo Turkoglu.


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