Slumping Turkoglu trying not to press

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 PM ET

Hedo Turkoglu is hearing your boos.

And he has no problem with the paying fan base expressing its dissatisfaction.

But he does want to point out that he’s not enjoying the fact that his shot is not going in with the same regularity he or the paying customers expect.

Asked about the voiced dissatisfaction expressed by a number of Raptors fans in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, Turkoglu said it was the first time in a long time that he has been booed, but he hardly is in a position to complain about it.

The month of January has not been a memorable one for Turkoglu. He already has scored in single digits five times this month which is just one more time than the combined single-digit scoring games he had in his first nine weeks of the season.

For the month, he is shooting just 32.6% from both the field and three-point range. He is averaging just 9.6 points a game.

“I can’t quit,” Turkoglu said. “I can’t complain. All I can do is keep being aggressive. People expect better stuff from me. They expect me to make every shot I take. Sometimes you don’t get a call and people think you’re taking bad shots.”

The lack of calls was readily apparent from Turkoglu’s responses to the booing Friday night. He was shaking his head and waving his arms — sometimes in the direction of the refs, other times in the direction of the fans.

“That’s the first time I’ve been booed in a long time,” he explained. “I want to play better too. I want people to know that. I didn’t come here just to cruise around. Sometimes when I don’t get a call I look bad out there.”

Raptors head coach Jay Triano was hesitant to get too much into a discussion of the refs’ treatment of Turkoglu of late.

“I think he got the benefit (of some calls) earlier but when you’re struggling every­thing goes against you,” Triano said. “The calls don’t go your way. Your teammates don’t make shots when you set them up wide open. Stuff like that. But it’s hard to say he’s not getting calls. Some nights he does.”

Turkoglu can’t remember a shooting slump at any point in his career that has lasted as long as the current one, but the worst thing he believes he can do now is panic.

“I can’t worry,” Turkoglu said. “I’m not the type of guy who will let this bother me. I’m not the guy who locks himself in the gym. I get my work in when I need to. I stay in shape. I stay ready.”

So as much as fans might want to hear Turkoglu is in the gym late throwing up shots by the hundreds, that’s not the case. In fact, the last guy in the gym Saturday getting up extra shots was Patrick O’Bryant, who appeared to be looking to expand on the few minutes he got on Friday.

Turkoglu has been in the league long enough and through enough downtimes that he believes he knows what works for him and what doesn’t. So while it might appease the masses to hear that he is working around the clock to fix his shooting problems, that’s never the way that has worked for Turkoglu.

“I just have to stay calm,” Turkoglu said. “Stay confident and when the time comes, even if I shoot 2-for-15 I have to take (the shot) because I have to get over this hump. You can’t be passive or thinking too much or hesitating about the shot because that will just make it worse.”

It might not be what fans want to hear, but that’s the approach Turkoglu is taking.

mike.ganter@sunmedia.ca


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