Steele: Turk Is A Unique Talent

Sun Sports and FS Florida broadcaster David Steele is in the midst of his 22nd season of Orlando Magic basketball, and his 13th as the play-by-play announcer for the team's television broadcasts. He was named television play-by-play voice for the Orlando Magic in March of 1998 after handling radio play-by-play duties for the team's first nine seasons. Steele shares his unique take on what's happening with the Orlando Magic and more with his newest blog.

Posted by David Steele, Saturday, April 1, 2011, 10:30 AM

Turk Is A Unique Talent

He has never made an all-star team. Never come close, really, even in his best years in the NBA, ’07-’08 and ‘08’-‘09 with the Orlando Magic. And he is not the most valuable player on this year’s team. But Hedo Turkoglu is, without question, an extremely important player for this edition of the Magic.

Friday night, Orlando had just one healthy point guard against the Charlotte Bobcats. For most NBA teams, having just one player available at the point would be reason for concern, but not for the Magic, because Turkoglu, the 6’10” forward, is willing and able to handle those crucial back-up point guard duties. In 34 minutes Friday night, Turkoglu scored 12 points and handed out a team high 7 assists. The Magic offense hardly missed a beat when Nelson was on the bench.

Consider this sampling of other games he has significantly impacted since returning to the Magic in mid-December in a trade with the Phoenix Suns:

January 3 vs. Golden State- Records his 3rd career triple-double (10 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists) in just his 8th game back with the Magic.

January 8th at Dallas- Sets a personal record with 17 assists in a comeback win against the Mavs. Scores 10 of his 13 points in the decisive 4th quarter.

February 25th vs. Oklahoma City- Gets 4 of his team high 10 assists in 4th quarter when Magic turn a close game into a rout.

March 9th at Sacramento- Hits clutch 4th quarter three to ice the win in a close game.

March 11th at Golden State- Hits clutch three with :08 to play, sending game to overtime.

March 16th at Milwaukee- Scores 8 of Orlando’s 14 overtime points in a sluggish victory.

March 25 vs. New Jersey- With pg Jameer Nelson out with an injury, gets 8 points and 5 assists in final 8:00 to avoid upset defeat.

In 46 4th quarters since returning to the Magic , Turkoglu has made 52% of his three-point shots. Many in clutch situations.

In addition to the triple-double against Golden State, he has totaled 4 additional double-doubles with the Magic. He is one of only nine players in the league this season to have recorded both point/rebound and point/assist double-doubles. (The other 8 are Lebron James, Russell Westbrook, Andre Iguodala, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, John Wall and Brandon Jennings)

Turkoglu is a unique and versatile blend of talent. He has a rare combination of size, smarts, shooting and playmaking ability that few players’ posses. In addition, in the playoffs, when teams must be able to execute half court offense to be successful , he is an excellent pick and roll player with Dwight Howard.

The Magic utilized his skills to the max in their 2009 run to the NBA Finals. They missed him last post-season when Nelson was the only late game playmaking option for the team. And now, with late season injuries at the point guard position taking their toll, Turk’s presence becomes even more vital.

Turkoglu practically fell off the face of the basketball universe in Toronto and Phoenix after leaving Orlando in 2009. It’s hard to tell if his lack of production was self-inflicted, or if he was simply misused. But he is back in a comfortable place in Orlando, and best of all for the Magic, Turkoglu looks just as good now as he did at this time two years ago.

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