Turkey struggles in Eurobasket opener

Hedo Turkoglu had a chance to make a name for himself in the clutch once again. Turkey had completed a wild fourth-quarter comeback to try to avoid the upset to Finland in the team's Eurobasket opener.

It was the familiar mode for Turkoglu too.

There he was at the top of the key (way too far bove the key to be a threat to shoot yet), waiting for the screen. There he was going left, looking to attack or that opportunity to pull up suddenly.

Of course, this is not Hedo Turkoglu from 2009. This is 2013 Hedo Turkoglu. He is not the same player he once was. Wide open 3-pointers and the things he did back then do not come as easily. Certainly not the clutch shots that made him such a key player in that Finals run.

Turkoglu dribbled toward the left baseline and took that patented fadeaway jumper (a long two, when his team needed a three to tie) and it missed off the front rim. Turkey took one on the chin in a disappointing offensive effort as Finland won 61-55.

Turkoglu had his moments where he looked extremely refreshed and like the player of old. In the fourth quarter, he made a couple of nice moves to get others open and dished to them and attacked the basket. But most of his game looked like he has since that 2009 season. He just is not the player he once was.

Turkoglu was 2 for 12 from the floor and 3 for 6 from the foul line. He had eight points and three rebounds to go with one assist. Not a great effort from a player Turkey appeared to be relying on to initiate offense.

Really, this was a horrid performance from Turkey.

Turkey shot 31.2 percent from the floor and just 4 of 23 in the first half. They hit 4 of 22 3-pointers and the real killer was the 13-for-24 shooting from the foul line. Turkey certainly should feel like they let one go as they fell behind to a hot-shooting Finland team by 17 points in the second half.

They came back as Omer Asik asserted himself defensively and the defense on Petteri Kopenen and Samuel Haanpaa started missing more shots.

Finland though were the better team and ran their offense much more efficiently than Turkey could. And it puts Turkey in a sizeable hole with questions about the roster makeup to answer in the next few days.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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